Category Archives: Ashcroft Theatre

‘The damage to the Fairfield Halls reputation is severe’

CROYDON IN CRISIS: While the cash-strapped council remains preoccupied with its finances, the once prestigious arts centre on the other side of Park Lane risks sliding towards cultural oblivion. By our arts correspondent, BELLA BARTOCK There are growing concerns that … Continue reading

Posted in Arnhem Gallery, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Business, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, GLL - Better, Mayor of London, Neil Chandler, Oliver Lewis, Paula Murray, Sadiq Khan, The Wreck, Theatre, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Now top art critic warns: ‘Somebody is going to wind up in jail’

One of the country’s leading art critics, Norman Lebrecht, has today weighed in to the gathering storm around the £70million Fairfield Halls fiasco, warning that, “Somebody is going to wind up in jail” over what he calls the “chaotic rebuilding” … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Brick by Brick, Fairfield Halls, Music | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Council has no answers over missing Fairfield Halls sculpture

Croydon’s crass council has been accused of another act of cultural vandalism, after “losing” a significant piece of mid-century street art from the site alongside the “award-winning” (try not to laugh) Fairfield Halls. The art installation, in a modernist, geometric … Continue reading

Posted in Arnhem Gallery, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Borough of Culture 2023, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Oliver Lewis, The Wreck | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

It’s time to put back the Sparks into Croydon’s Fairfield Halls

For £70m, the Fairfield Halls should be offering a lot more for the community, says KEN TOWL If the Fairfield Halls disappoint, and they do, over and over, it is because they have a lot to live up to. Through … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Fairfield Halls, Music, Savvy Theatre Company, Talawa Theatre Company | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Brick by Brick failed to replace Fairfield’s 60-year-old windows

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The ‘fiasco’ of Brick by Brick’s bungled £70m refurbishment of the arts venue gets worse, with the latest admission of failures from a cabinet member. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES Ollie “Shit Show” Lewis, the council cabinet member … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Jo Negrini, Mayor of London, Oliver Lewis, Timothy Godfrey, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Millions of questions for BHLive over Fairfield grant aid

CROYDON IN CRISIS: It’s like nothing has ever changed at the borough’s prestigious arts centre, where tribute acts still dominate its sparse programme, while the venue operators are staying schtum about how they’re spending public money. By our arts correspondent, … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Brick by Brick, Business, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, London Mozart Players, Neil Chandler, The Wreck | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Fairfield Halls’ £70m fiasco: ‘BxB didn’t know what it was doing’

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Trade newspaper The Stage has described the five-year saga of the Fairfield Halls refurbishment as a ‘catastrophic mess’ and a ‘£70m fiasco’. Now, the centre’s former artistic director has broken his silence over the bungling of Brick … Continue reading

Posted in Arnhem Gallery, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Fairfield Halls, Neil Chandler, Oliver Lewis, Sadiq Khan, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Council to pick up £69.2m costs of failed Fairfield Halls refurb

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Town Hall correspondent, KEN LEE, on the latest council bail-out for Brick by Brick over the bungled and unfinished refurbishment of the borough’s major arts centre Croydon’s cash-strapped council is to step in and pick up another … Continue reading

Posted in Ashcroft Theatre, Brick by Brick, Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, The Wreck, Urban Splash | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Conflicts of interest, incomplete contracts, unlawful payments – how the Fairfield Halls refurbishment cost Croydon £50m-plus

EXCLUSIVE: Council was warned in 2017 of problems with the management of works at the borough’s flagship arts centre. By STEVEN DOWNES A report by the council’s internal auditors has raised very serious concerns over the mismanagement of the multi-million-pound … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Brick by Brick, Business, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Jo Negrini, Shifa Mustafa, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Council paid £1m compensation for unfinished Fairfield Halls

EXCLUSIVE: A year-long investigation has uncovered multi-million-pound payments by the council on its arts centre, largely because of the bungled refurbishment managed by Brick by Brick. And it is now suggested some payments may have been unlawful. By STEVEN DOWNES … Continue reading

Posted in Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Hamida Ali, Oliver Lewis, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

£30m Fairfield Halls project never went to competitive tender

EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES Brick by Brick’s management of the refurbishment of the Halls has been subject to disputes with at least two leading contractors £3m grant to build an art gallery was diverted to pay for other work – … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Brick by Brick, Business, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Simon Hall, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Arts Council refuses to investigate job losses at Fairfield Halls

Arts correspondent BELLA BARTOCK on the mounting scandal at the council-owned arts venue, where fears grow that it might never reopen The Arts Council has told Inside Croydon that they are powerless to intervene after BHLive, the social enterprise appointed … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, Theatre | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Fairfield Halls operators get £2.5m Arts Council covid grant

BELLA BARTOCK, our socially distanced arts correspondent, on a mystery surrounding a massive government recovery grant BHLive, the operator who runs the Fairfield Halls on behalf of Croydon Council, has received a £2.5million grant under the government’s Culture Recovery Fund … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, Theatre | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

5 Croydon arts groups win covid grants, but not Fairfield Halls

The government and Arts Council England yesterday handed out £257million to 1,385 arts and cultural venues and companies around the country. Five of the recipients are based in Croydon. But not a penny of the Cultural Recovery Fund has been … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, Stanley Halls, Studio Upstairs, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Culture is worth £5.5bn to London economy, says Arts Council

The impact on the local economy of the continuing closure of the Fairfield Halls is hinted at in a report published today by Arts Council England which reckons that arts and culture contributed £5.5billion to London in 2018, supporting 67,075 … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHLive starts redundancy process for staff at Fairfield Halls

There have been unconfirmed reports that BHLive, the Bournemouth-based operators in charge of running the council-owned Fairfield Halls, have this week begun making their full-time employees in Croydon redundant. According to BHLive insiders, the move could see the Fairfield Halls … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Oliver Lewis | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Fears grow at Fairfield Halls over operator’s unsigned lease

The Fairfield Halls may be in “hibernation” until next year because of coronavirus, but Croydon Council is now facing another crisis over its ill-fated £43million refurbishment project, with growing fears that the company appointed to manage the arts complex could … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Neil Chandler, Oliver Lewis | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Croydon in crisis: Contractors in £9m row over Fairfield Halls

EXCLUSIVE: The council’s blundering house-builders Brick by Brick face the threat of a multi-million-pound legal action in a payments dispute over the refurbishment of the town centre’s arts venue. By STEVEN DOWNES The building contractors who carried out the refurbishment … Continue reading

Posted in Arnhem Gallery, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Business, Fairfield Halls, Mott MacDonald, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

80 casual staff laid off as Fairfield Halls goes ‘into hibernation’

EXCLUSIVE: Our unfurloughed arts correspondent, BELLA BARTOCK, on dark times for Croydon’s major arts venue Fairfield Halls’ casual staff, who have been furloughed since the arts venue closed its doors for the coronavirus lockdown in March, have been told that … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, Neil Chandler, Theatre, Timothy Godfrey | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Facing uncertain future, Fairfield Halls returns all its pianos

The Fairfield Halls had the removal men in yesterday – taking away the arts venue’s pianos. Inside Croydon understands that the pianos – nine in total, including two grand pianos – have been returned to their makers after the venue … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Brick by Brick, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Music, Neil Chandler, Oliver Lewis, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Culture deals with covid-19 without making a song and dance

The sense of doom and gloom caused by the covid-19 pandemic had well and truly taken hold of London by the middle of last week. There was a dark humour about the place reflected by the public address system at … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Cinema, Croydon Bach Choir, Croydon Male Voice Choir, Croydon Philharmonic Choir, David Lean Cinema Campaign, Fairfield Halls, Music, Talawa Theatre Company, Theatre, Theatre Workshop Coulsdon | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Seconds out: Operator hopes wrestling will boost Fairfield Halls

EXCLUSIVE: The art venue’s director quit in a dispute over dumbing down of its programme in a bid to boost ticket sales, reports BELLA BARTOCK, who has discovered that BHLive are recruiting for Neil Chandler’s replacement, but offering a lesser … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Fairfield Halls, London Mozart Players, Music, Neil Chandler, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Fairfield Halls director quits less than six months after opening

EXCLUSIVE: A £42.6m white elephant without its mahout? Our arts correspondent, BELLA BARTOCK, reports on the most dramatic of exits from the Fairfield Halls Neil Chandler has left the building. The Fairfield Halls’ venue and artistic director has left his … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Croydon BID, Fairfield Halls, London Mozart Players, Neil Chandler, Talawa Theatre Company, Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

‘Lack of trust’ sees arts venue selling just 26% of tickets

With the Fairfield Halls refurbishment costs now confirmed as £42.6m, and still rising, the venue is struggling to win back its audiences, as KEN LEE reports The costs of refurbishing the Fairfield Halls rose by another £1.6million in just five … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Brick by Brick, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Jerry Fitzpatrick, Jo Negrini, Neil Chandler, Sean Fitzsimons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Croydon is named London’s ‘Borough of Culture’ for 2023

Croydon has been named London Borough of Culture for 2023. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, announced the decision at City Hall this morning. The “prize” is an additional £1.35million funding from the Mayor towards the borough’s cultural programme. At … Continue reading

Posted in Amy Lamé Limited, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Dance, Fairfield Halls, Mayor of London, Music, Sadiq Khan, Theatre, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments