Local MEP and playwright Dan Dalton has welcomed the European Parliament's backing for Conservative MEPs amendment to continue exempting theatre lighting from expensive new energy efficiency requirements.
The European Commission has not yet responded to the call from MEPs to protect theatres from the requirements, but Dan is hopeful they will heed the warning because quite simply there are no alternatives available and many local theatres would have to close and dim their lights forever.
After the vote, Dan, author of a number of plays for children, commented:
"This vote followed a tremendous grassroots campaign from volunteers and local theatres across the UK, many of whom feared having to close down as a result of the new energy efficiency requirements."
"Small local theatres, a vital part of so many towns across the West Midlands, simply do not have the resources to replace their entire lighting systems, it is not just a matter of changing bulbs, there are no efficient bulbs to fit existing lighting infrastructures."
"So I hope the Commission will allow the show to go on, otherwise the curtain will fall on a vital part of community life."
The new requirements would have come into force before the end of the UK's transition period and formal exit from the EU acquis, forcing theatres to comply, hence the urgent amendment tabled by Conservative MEPs.