A cash-strapped Three Towns theatre company is to close its doors later this year.

Triple Act Theatre and Arts has taken the shock decision after it missed out on a number of funding applications. including one for £40,000.

The company was formed in 2015 to bring the arts to people in Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenston.

Since then it has relied on lottery money, council funding and donations from charitable foundations to keep afloat.

However the pandemic, state of the economy and increases in the cost of living have caused donations to dry up for the company, which is based in Princes Street in Ardrossan.

Andy Gale, chair of Triple Act trustees, said it was "probable" they would have to shut down after the school holidays in October.

Three members of the Triple Act staff have already lost their jobs as part of cost cutting measures.

Andy told the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald:"If we can't identify another source of income we are in danger of running out of money.

"Currently funding is secured and ring-fenced for projects already agreed upon running into autumn. 

"Three posts, including that of overall director, have been made redundant.

"Without further additional support it is probable that all activities will have to cease in autumn 2023."

Triple Act currently operates three youth theatres, a community choir and various drama groups.

A production of Peter Pan on May 31 and a showcase of local talent on June 3, both at Ardrossan Civic Centre will still go ahead.

A pre planned summer programme of activities including theatre workshops will also take place.

Andy added:"Since 2015 Triple Act has worked with thousands of participants on dozens of projects, shows, workshops and collaborations. 

"The current economic climate and the pressure on funding from both statutory and voluntary bodies may result in this work sadly having to end.

"We had an offer of £500. by email from one of the parents, which was very generous, but that clearly not enough to solve the problem."

In June 2021 Triple Act was awarded £84,000 in lottery money for a range of projects in the town including a comedy club. But since then such funding has dried up.

Andy added: "What we probably need is a major Cameron Mcintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber type figure to come in.

"If we cease our activities there will be no provision in the Three Towns for the arts, whether it is participating or watching."

Concerned Triple Act members have also been in touch with the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald over the closure plans.

One said: "The adult drama programmes are so good in terms of promoting confidence and mental health and would be utterly devastating to lose.

"There are no other opportunities nearby and the members are just shell shocked just now."