A SOUTHAMPTON theatre is set to take over a city playhouse whose operator went into administration earlier this year.

The Mayflower is to become the operator of NST City - the theatre in the Studio 144 building in Guildhall Square.

City councillors are expected to approve the move at a full council meeting on September 16.

According to official documents published ahead of the meeting, councillors will be asked to back plans for a new 35 year lease with the Mayflower.

The news comes as Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST) – which ran the NST City in the cultural quarter and the Nuffield Theatre at the University of Southampton – went into administration in May.

Now the venue in the heart of the city’s cultural quarter is expected to be given a new lease of life.

A report published by the city council ahead of next week’s meeting reads: “The Mayflower Theatre Trust was identified as a strong application and the only viable and commercially sustainable option. This application was based on the creation of a new company – Mayflower Academy Limited (MAL), to operate the Studio 144 North facility. The appointment of MAL as a key cultural partner within the city is important to the diverse cultural offering to Southampton’s communities, as well as Southampton’s UK City of Culture 2025 bid.”

Civic chiefs will also be asked to award a grant of £511,250 over two financial years (£221,250 for 2020/21 and £290,000 for 2021/22) to Mayflower Academy Limited “to deliver community based cultural activity” from the Studio 144 venue.

According to the report, Mayflower Academy Limited would be supported by and part of “an experienced leadership team” within the wider Mayflower Theatre Trust. City bosses said the group “recognises the need to balance artistic excellence with running a sound and financially sustainable organisation”.

It is not known how many new jobs will be created.