THE Stephen Joseph Theatre will cancel its summer tour to rural venues after North Yorkshire County Council cut the Scarborough theatre’s grant by 84 per cent.

The decision to slash funding from £63,000 in 2010/11 to £10,000 in 2011/12 also will have an impact on the work carried out within the community by the SJT’s OutReach department.

Artistic director Chris Monks said: “As a result of our cut from North Yorkshire County Council, we will no longer be able to tour our summer shows to venues across Yorkshire, such as the Evron Centre in Filey, Whitby Coliseum and Pickering Meeting House, as we have in previous years. As a direct result, residents of North Yorkshire will have less access to the arts and culture.”

The theatre management believed strongly in the value of its OutReach work, despite the severity of the cut, said Mr Monks.

“Last year 4,000 children participated in educational projects run by the SJT. We will continue to deliver workshops and classes within the community. However, we will not be able to sustain this level of activity without finding support from elsewhere,” he warned.