The company behind the troubled interactive exhibition at £63million West Bromwich arts centre The Public has gone into administration with the loss of all its 32 staff.
Insolvency experts from Baker Tilly, in Birmingham, have been made joint administrators of The Public Gallery Ltd, which was set up to create an interactive attraction at West Bromwich’s The Public arts centre.
The interactive gallery, which has not yet opened, was meant to be the centrepiece at The Public when it opened in June last year – £15million over budget and two years late.
Less than two weeks ago, the Arts Council turned its back on the company by rejecting a business plan, which would have seen the centre’s annual £500,000 grant double. But the Arts Council did promise Sandwell Council a one-off £3million grant to try to open the whole centre to the public.
The administrators are in discussions with principal stakeholders Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and the Arts Council about the future of the Public Gallery.
Sandwell Council leader Coun Bill Thomas said he wanted to see Sandwell Leisure Trust take over the gallery. The trust runs leisure facilities in Sandwell under contract to the local authority.