Croydon Council has been accused of having “a devious plan” to grab millions of pounds of development grants by closing the Warehouse Theatre.
The accusation comes in a hard-hitting letter in The Stage newspaper from George Savvides, a Warehouse supporter who has acted in several performances at the world-famous Croydon studio theatre.
In his letter, Savvides says, “The smug and Philistine bunch at Croydon Council has withdrawn the theatre’s grant and, if challenged, arrogantly claim that the Warehouse declined their ‘generous’ offer of alternative accommodation. Why would this attractive Victorian Warehouse give up its premises for new accommodation at the time when a new theatre was being developed?
“…Most people suspect that the council’s devious plan is to close the theatre so it can pocket the developer’s money for themselves.”
The Warehouse Theatre, adjacent to East Croydon Station, sits next to a long-vacant site which developers Stanhope plan to turn into Ruskin Square, a mix of offices and homes, but with the promise of £3.5 million towards a new studio theatre home for the Warehouse company.
As Inside Croydon reported last month, soon after the news of Croydon cutting the lifeline of its £30,000 grant to the Warehouse, the council’s agenda was shown to be to divert Stanhope’s £3.5 million to a project at the Fairfield Halls, as displayed in remarks made by senior Tory councillor Sara Bashford.
“Book Token” Bashford has since been stripped of her Croydon cabinet responsibilities for culture, arts, sport and libraries, after two years of bungling, failed consultations and abrasive confrontation with residents.
The Warehouse, since being placed in administration, is continuing its campaign for survival; click here for details.
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- Fears for Warehouse Theatre as it faces administration (insidecroydon.com)
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- Robeson sings a lament for the Warehouse Theatre (insidecroydon.com)