Theatre calls in the po­lice over lost funds

The Herald - - NEWS -

A PO­LICE in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been launched into the “in­ap­pro­pri­ate use” of around £60,000 of funds of a strug­gling Scots theatre com­pany which helped launch the ca­reers of James McAvoy and Paolo Nu­tini.

Po­lice Scot­land con­firmed it was in the early stages of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter PACE Theatre Com­pany’s chair­man, Don­ald Urquhart, claimed the char­ity had been sub­ject “this year and in pre­vi­ous years to many in­stances of the in­ap­pro­pri­ate use of com­pany funds”.

It emerged in Septem­ber that act­ing coach David Wallace, who co-founded the Pais­ley or­gan­i­sa­tion, had been dis­missed af­ter an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the group’s fi­nan­cial af­fairs.

Mr Wallace’s wife, Mhairi, was also quizzed over fi­nances at the char­ity and was sus­pended on full pay while in­quiries were be­ing car­ried out.

It is un­der­stood that she left the theatre com­pany vol­un­tar­ily and un­der am­i­ca­ble terms.

In a mes­sage to sup­port­ers, Mr Urquhart, said: “As it is the sub­ject of a cur­rent po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion I am un­able to elab­o­rate at this time.

“I would how­ever say that this has been a shock to ev­ery­one at PACE but has re­sulted in sig­nif­i­cant changes to the staff structure, the ap­point­ment of a new chief ex­ec­u­tive as well as a re­al­is­tic busi­ness plan which will help us deal with out­stand­ing fi­nan­cial is­sues.”

PACE is run­ning at a deficit and re­lies on ex­ter­nal fund­ing to keep its day-to­day op­er­a­tions run­ning.

Po­lice Scot­land said: “We have re­ceived a com­plaint and in­quiries are on­go­ing.”

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