Council taxpayers are being short changed over a £1 million subsidy given to the Birmingham Royal Ballet, it was claimed today.
The allegation was made by Coun Nigel Dawkins who said the ballet company spent most of the year on tour, taking its highly acclaimed performances to other cities and countries.
He said this spring, audiences in Bradford, Manchester, Plymouth and Sunderland will have as much opportunity to see the BRB as city theatre-goers.
Coun Dawkins (Con, Bournville) is now calling for the council to make it a condition of the BRB's annual grant that it spends more time in Birmingham.
He said it was "ridiculous" he could only see the St Petersburg Ballet in Birmingham over Christmas.
"We don't mind them touring, but they should spend far longer in Birmingham.
"Each performance is always sold out, with high price tickets, so it is a good source of revenue for any theatre.
"We deserve better value for money from the £1 million grant."
The BRB performed Beauty and the Beast for two weeks at the start of December, and returns for six nights of Swan Lake in March before reappearing in June.
BRB spokeswoman Angela Hughes said the group aims to spend ten weeks a year performing in Birmingham, mostly at the Hippodrome, as well as ten weeks in the UK and four weeks on international tours.
"The company performs a major ambassadorial role for the city, promoting Birmingham's attitude towards cultural excellence," she added.
Recent tours have been to mainland Europe, Hong Kong, South Africa, while the company heads to New York in July.
A spokeswoman for the city's leisure and culture department said: "The council is in continuous discussions with the Birmingham Royal Ballet to ensure the city has the best programme possible.
"Having a world class ballet company based in Birmingham makes a great contribution to the city's cultural life and its people."