ArtsHouse future soon to be clear - The Stratford Observer
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8th Aug, 2022

ArtsHouse future soon to be clear

THE FUTURE of Stratford ArtsHouse will soon become clear.

Stratford Town Trust, which owns the Rother Street theatre, invited ideas on a way forward for the venue which was sustainable and benefited the community.

The deadline for suggestions has now passed and trust chief executive Justin Williams has revealed four proposals had been received though he could not say from who.

He added: “The board of trustees is due to meet next week to discuss, and we hope to make a decision by May 24.

“We have received four good proposals from operators with real potential, we hoped to receive more but these are a good mix of commercial ventures which also serve the community interest.

“We want to make sure we make the right decision, but we hope to get it up and running as fast as possible.”

The trust announced in February it would be pulling the plug on funding because the venue was not sustainable as a business and relied too heavily on hand-outs.

Campaign group Save Stratford ArtsHouse – fronted by Bear Pit theatre member Dominic Skinner – was launched in the wake of the announcement to highlight the importance of the ArtsHouse to the town.

Mr Skinner said while the group did not put together a formal proposal, it was able to show the trust how important the venue was to the community.

He said “The ArtsHouse, its future and most importantly its availability for community use, has been secured.

“This was the main aim of the campaign, and I am so delighted that we have been able to get to this point. It’s been a long hard road, but there is light at the end finally.

“A lot of work was put into developing a proposal. I’d like to personally thank all those involved. But in the end it became obvious that the ArtsHouse needed a professional and full time entity to run it.

“What we have managed to do is make the town trust and potential management groups listen to us. This campaign has highlighted how important this building is to the community. How in its current format it wasn’t working for many, and that we wanted an ArtsHouse that was accessible for all.

“On that front we have been victorious.”

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