Oldham Coliseum has entered a period of consultation with staff - but it is still likely the theatre will close on March 31.
The consultation will last 30 days and closure can only be proposed during that time. A rescue could conceivably be organised during the month, so closure cannot be definite until the period is up.
Following the news on 4 November 2022 that Oldham Coliseum will no longer be part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio from April 1, the theatre board and senior staff have been working to find a solution to funding reduction.
The theatre's current finances won't sustain a full-time theatre, which has led to the Coliseum's plight.
The theatre is working with Arts Council England and Oldham Council to ensure current debts and commitments to artists and staff will be covered.
All events up to March 26 will go ahead as planned, while money will be refunded to anyone who has booked later show tickets; even donations made by well-wishers when booking for future events will be returned.
Coliseum members whose memberships are due to expire after March 26 will also receive a refund.
The Coliseum has been at the heart of theatre in Oldham for well over 100 years, with a highly-regarded history in the industry dating back to the Oldham Rep - a private theatre club that until the 1970s did weekly rep and launched the careers of many of today's theatre and TV stars.
Most of the Coliseum’s staff are local and some have worked with the company for over a decade.
They are, say senior staff, the priority for the company.