|The Princess situated in the sea-side town of Burnham-on-Sea has had a varied history. Built in 1869 by a private company known as the Market House and Town Hall Company at a cost of £2,000 it has housed the Council Chamber, been used as a covered market and even accommodated the town fire station under its first floor auditorium.
In 1994, Sedgemoor District Council embarked upon a major refurbishment programme almost completely rebuilding the venue internally, taking out the upper floor to provide an airy ground level auditorium and creating smaller rooms for hire. The Princess was then officially reopened by HRH Princess Alexandra on the 8th June 1995. The Princess Hall, as it was known, was re-named The Princess to herald its renaissance and indicate it was not only a hall, but also a theatre, conference centre and more.
In 2006, due to financial pressures, the Sedgemoor District Council announced its intention to find alternative organisations to run The Princess as it no longer felt able to support the loss making facility.
|If no interest was shown it was possible The Princess would close. Local groups rallied to gather support for the theatre during its next uncertain years. Plans for the building changed and changed again. Finally in 2010 bids were invited by the District Council for organisations to take over the running of the building.
The Burnham and Highbridge Town Council had opened talks with Sedgemoor District Council as early as 2006 to explore the possibility of taking over The Princess. One of several groups to bid for the building, the Town Council was successful and took over from the 1st April 2011. The building changed hands for the grand total of £1.
The Princess Theatre and Arts Centre, renamed to emphasise its purpose as a place for the arts and the community, now looks forward to a new chapter in its history. With improvements planned and support from the local community evident, The Princess will aim to achieve the potential it has always promised.