A SIX-FIGURE sum has been freed to rescue Artrix Arts Centre’s assets as Bromsgrove District Council raided its piggy bank to boost hopes that the venue could rise from the ashes.

The council has released £120,000 from its balances – a decision taken under urgency procedures so full council was not consulted – to purchase the assets guarded by the Artrix insolvency practitioner.

The Artrix, on Slideslow Drive, which had been running since 2005, was forced to shut down in April as the coronavirus lockdown amplified its ongoing financial woes.

The purchase protects the assets – which include a classic Steinway piano as well as regular fixtures and fittings – from being sold off to pay off debt accrued by the Artrix.

It means the assets, which also include items such as seats, stages and props, will remain at The Artrix, ready for prospective new future management to use.

Karen May, leader of the council, said: “The money has been released to enable the Council to make an offer for the purchase of the assets helping to ensure that all options for the future of the venue are retained and supporting the efforts being made to enable the building to continue as an arts venue in the future.

“We are pleased to say that our offer has been accepted and that the Council now own the assets associated with the venue.

“The money will also provide funding for security and maintenance of the building and for the Holding Trust to receive some professional advice to help and guide them in the decisions that it will need to make moving forward.

“It is very early days and the future of this building is still uncertain but we understand how important this venue is to our community and this support will ensure as far as possible that the continuation of an arts facility remains firmly on the table in these difficult and uncertain times.”

The council owns the lease to the Artrix building and, as of March 2019, the council held £4.3m in balances.