STAR readers have expressed their shock at the news that arts venue The Citadel is to close after more than 30 years.

Bosses revealed yesterday that the Waterloo Street venue, which was opened in April 1988, will close on June 30 this year.

It is not yet known what will happen with the building, however, the Citadel charity's activities will continue but the board of trustees said they have to give up the building in order to "keep the organisations valuable community services alive".

Following the news, readers posted their reactions on our website and social media.

WAM, said: "Really sad news, every town needs an iconic venue and whilst it wasn't the biggest, it was a place full of charm.

"Not been a good start to the year for music venues in St Helens and Warrington."

Roy Richardson, added: "I was a member of one of the first theatre groups there at the Citadel. It's very sad to hear of its closure.

"It really was a fresh and new corner stone for theatrical talent and arts in St Helens.

"I have learned as a young man many things within this place of the arts and so forth.

"It is such a building that has had such a strong cultural connection with its town should close in such manner. A sad day."

"Gareth Olley, said: "Fond memories of watching Johnny Vegas in his early years at the Citadel! Great little venue."

Bill Lavery added: "Very sad news indeed. Had many a great gig there, live music taking another blow."

Lynn Manley said: "So sad Citadel used to be the Old Salvation Army there a very long time.

"What's wrong with St Helens everything going."

Lisa Broughton Josie Matley added: "It's so sad my daughter goes once a week to take part in the Youth theatre, it has helped her confidence so much.

"They are continuing this fab work but its a shame the building has to close."

Anyone wishing to support the future of the Citadel Charity can donate to a Crowd Funding campaign at