The Priestley Centre for the Arts has been given a three-month lifeline - following the fantastic support from businesses and theatre-goers in Bradford.

The theatre has raised £11,225 - enough to secure a "breathing space" and give it a strong footing to build its long-term future.

Today Priestley directors praised the Telegraph & Argus for our Save the Priestley campaign, which attracted public support for the struggling theatre over recent weeks.

We stepped in last month when it was revealed the Little Germany theatre needed to raise £10,000 by the end of October to pay off its creditors, or it would go into voluntary liquidation.

Priestley director Glenn Boldy said our campaign has led to a wealth of public support, donations, and offers of help with a business plan to help the theatre's long-term future.

"The T&A has done an excellent job and we are very grateful," he said.

"It's a great relief to know that we can now turn our attention towards building this theatre back up.

"The Priestley is finally ready to take its place in Bradford's Capital of Culture bid."

The Priestley has produced a draft business plan and is now developing an arts/business partnership with Bradford companies to secure the funding and business expertise needed to keep it going.

The Alhambra is among the companies which have stepped in to offer help.

Alhambra manager John Botteley said: "The last thing we want is for the Priestley to go under. But the Council can't just pump money into something that doesn't have a viable business plan.

"The Alhambra is offering any help and advice we can give with putting together a business plan to try to ensure the Priestley's future.

"The Priestley is an important part of Bradford life, a valuable theatre which fulfils a special community role. If there is anything else the Alhambra can do, such as helping with staff training, we're more than willing to help."

Paul Brookes, director of Bradford's Capital of Culture Partnership Board, said: "I'm delighted that the Priestley is able to stay open and put itself in a strong position to secure its future.

"It is an important part of Bradford's cultural life.

"Capital of Culture will be developing many different strands of action, one of which will be support for the amateur arts in Bradford such as the Priestley."

Yesterday Mr Boldy addressed the Little Germany Business Forum, held at the theatre, and appealed for help to secure the theatre's long-term future.

"We are delighted to have reached our target and there are smiles all round the board of directors," he said.

"It gives us a solid footing to restructure our organisation.

"We need more professional expertise, which is what the business community can provide. It starts here, in our (Little Germany) community."

Director Christiaan Hohenzollern said the Priestley's funds had come from a production of The Cherry Orchard - which had crowds queuing round the block thanks to the T&A campaign - and a recent fundraising show. Donations poured in - some from people who had never heard of the Priestley before the campaign.

"We are delighted to have this breathing space to work on securing our long-term future," he said.

"The last few weeks have restored my faith in Bradford's communities. We have been overwhelmed by the support. The people of Bradford have given us both the means and the energy to carry on.

"But we're not saved yet. We have to be cautious. Our short-term future is secured - now we have to look to the long-term."

Theatres section and Priestley campaign pages