A much loved 100-year-old theatre has fallen into disrepair after a ‘dilapidation and repair’ lease was not upheld, according to councillors.

The Novello Theatre, located on Sunninghill High Street, has been the centre of a campaign when members of the community discovered that the building was at risk of demolition.

This comes after the previous lease holder, Redroof Theatre School, relinquished the theatre back to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

As a valued asset in the council’s portfolio, this century old building was under a ‘dilapidation and repair’ lease held by the theatre company over the past 16 years.

This lease required the theatre company to repair or update any failing that occurred through the years due to wear and tear or age.

According to the Leader of the Council, Cllr Simon Werner in a RBWM cabinet meeting, previous administrations were allowed to ignore this despite the theatre leasing the property for over 15 years.

Cllr Helen Price from the Clewer and Deadwood East Ward addressed this at the meeting when members of the ‘Save the Novello Theatre’ campaign were debating to re-evaluate the sale price valued by the council.

The state of the building was left in by the previous company means that a large amount of money will need to be invested by future owners to ensure the building is suitable for use.

Cllr Werner said: “I was absolutely horrified at the failure of the council to enforce this dilapidations and repair lease over the last 16 years. I think it’s a real failing of the council.

“When I found out about it, I made sure I did a full review to make sure that there are no other assets that the council owns that have been so ignored by the previous administration. It’s an absolute scandal.”

Redroofs Theatre Company said: "The lease was between the council and our mother who I regret to inform you has now passed away."

Despite dilapidation of the current building, the valuation of £300,000 was denied review requested by community campaigners who are rallying to purchase it for community use.

The valuation has angered campaigners who say that this price is unrealistic and does not take into account its past and future use as a theatre.

During the meeting, it was agreed that The Novello Theatre is now an ‘Asset of Community Value’.