Streatham Hill Theatre has been added to the national Heritage At Risk Register of most valued historic places and those most at risk of being lost.
Photo: From left to right: From The Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre: Chair David Harvey, Patrons Baroness Floella Benjamin, DBE DL and Simon Callow CBE, and Lead Architect Armeet Panesar, photographed in the dress circle of the auditorium. © Historic England Archive, Chris Redgrave.
Today, 4th November, Historic England has published its Heritage At Risk Register 2021, with the Streatham Hill Theatre being added to it. The Heritage At Risk Register sets out the historic sites in England most at risk of being lost forever as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development.
The 2021 Register describes the Grade II listed Streatham Hill Theatre as “an unusually lavish example of a theatre built outside of the West End and was designed by William George Robert Sprague, one of the leading theatre architects of his generation. It is a rare survival as only a few of his buildings still exist today”.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “In London our theatres are the envy of the world, they provide a stage for aspiring artists and bring a wide range of benefits to our communities.
“That’s why I’m supporting efforts to ensure the magnificent Streatham Hill Theatre is saved for future generations, and why it’s so encouraging Historic England have recognised this is a place like no other and added it to the Heritage At Risk Register.
“I hope others will join me in supporting this remarkable building being transformed into an inclusive, cultural space that will serve the local community for years to come.”
David Harvey, Chair of The Friends said: “Regenerating this unique building would be a game-changer in strengthening our community and supporting our local area. This recognition by Historic England will help us redouble efforts to save the building for cultural use for future generations. We call on all stakeholders to work together actively to save this landmark building and unlock the array of benefits it would bring.”
“Adding Streatham Hill Theatre to the Heritage at Risk Register recognises that this extraordinary listed building needs attention. This is an opportunity to take stock, and build strong relationships between all partners to work towards a better future for this cherished historic place.”
Simon Buteux, Partnerships Team Leader at Historic England
“This announcement adds welcome impetus to the campaign to revamp Streatham Hill Theatre as a community-led arts venue, which would ensure the preservation of our iconic theatre and be a big boost for Streatham’s growing creative scene and local economy.”
Bell Ribeiro-Addy, MP for Streatham
“I’m delighted that Streatham Hill Theatre is now on the Heritage At Risk Register. As we come out of the Covid pandemic, it’s just the right time to save this beautiful building for the cultural benefit of our hard-hit, local community. I’ll do all I can to support its rejuvenation.”
Cllr Sonia Winifred, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, Lambeth Council
“It is fantastic news that Streatham Hill Theatre has been added to Historic England’s Heritage at Risk list. This glorious W. G. R. Sprague theatre has been on our Theatres at Risk list since 2017 and we’ve supported it through our Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme and by giving advice to The Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre. Theatres Trust believes it has the potential to be returned to use by the community in south London and to, once more, become an important, lively venue at the heart of the high street. Today’s announcement makes that future seem more realistic, giving the building greater protection.”
Claire Appleby, Architecture Adviser, Theatres Trust
More information and more reactions, including from our Patrons, can be found in the full release here. There are more Historic England photos available in their archive.