The Hexagon theatre could close as Reading Borough Council has announced it is looking to provide a new entertainment facility in the town.

The costs in running the 1970s building is set to rise in the coming years and is "expensive to maintain" a report published today has revealed.

A Reading Borough Council Policy Committee report recommends that the Council sets in motion a procurement exercise to find a development partner that will fund and deliver a new theatre for Reading.

A spokesman for Reading Borough Council said: "The proposed new theatre would be funded by the delivery partner, rather than the Council. The Council would provide the land on which it would be built.

"At this stage no site has been selected for the potential new theatre. The Policy Committee report recommends a parallel process where sites are examined in detail to help identify the most viable venue."

The theatre, on Dussledorf Way, is next to the empty former Reading Borough Council which is set to be pulled down. 

The combined area of the Council building and the theatre is almost two acres.

It has been the setting for famous bands, comedians and shows and the West End adaptation of Dirty Dancing is coming next year.

The theatre has also been used by amateur dramatics companies and schools for performances.

Paul Gittings, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Sport, said: “The Council has a long standing ambition to build a new theatre for Reading which would cement its reputation as an artistic and cultural centre in the region.

“The Hexagon Theatre has served Reading fantastically for nearly 40 years now. Anyone who has attended a show there will have fond memories of it. Longer term however, Reading needs a new theatre. The cost of maintaining the Hexagon is already high and will only increase over time. Whilst of its time, the design of the building also limits it greatly as a performance venue.

“The start of the procurement route is a key landmark in what will be a lengthy process. The severe financial limitations the Council is under means we need to look at creative ways of delivering modern new local facilities and finding a delivery partner to fund a new theatre is one way of doing that. The Council for its part would provide the land for the new theatre to be built.

“No decisions have been made on location at this stage, but the sites option appraisal will look at all available options and the continuity of theatre provision will be key to our thinking.”

Community Interest Company Theatre and Arts Reading (TAR) was established last year with a stated ambition to provide a new theatre for Reading. TAR’s preference is a commercially viable venue with 750-1,200 seats and at least two smaller rehearsal and development spaces as well as box office and café bar facilities. This would effectively be a replacement for The Hexagon Theatre.