Saturday, January 27, 2007

Charging the Scots

A theatre in England has threatened to charge customers from north of the border higher admission prices.

The Maltings in Berwick-upon-Tweed claims 41% of people using the arts centre come from Scotland. As a result, management said a request had been made to Scottish Borders Council to provide £50,000 of support.

SBC has dismissed the call as "absurd". The theatre has confirmed it is now considering higher charges for people from outside Berwick using the centre.

Director Maurice Ward said the Maltings board would be meeting soon to determine pricing levels. He confirmed that it would be considering a discount scheme for Berwick residents.

"This means, in effect, that users outside the borough would be paying higher prices to compensate for the subsidy already being paid by the tax payers of Berwick," he said. We would urge residents in the Borders area to lobby their councillors suggesting that they reconsider their position not to provide any funding to the Maltings. It is not equitable that Berwick council tax payers should provide such a large subsidy for regular users outside the borough."

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