Thanks to everyone of our supporters for your help with the campaign so far.
Our next step is to commission a viability study to explore options and show how to make this grand old building into a sustainable asset for the benefit of the community. We are crowdfunding via Spacehive and have the opportunity to be considered for Mayor of London funding but we need to demonstrate local support.
So please go to save.streathamhilltheatre.org, like the project, leave a supporting comment and if you can pledge even a small amount. We have less than a month to get enough support to get on the Mayor’s radar!
From Lambeth Council Minutes 22 January 2020
Councillor Liz Atkins to the Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and
New Homes, Councillor Mathew Bennett:
Councillor L. Atkins welcomed the recently published Streatham Investment and Growth Strategy 2019-30 and asked whether the Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes would work with the Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre, Streatham BID and the current leaseholders to determine the meanwhile use of the building. Councillor L. Atkins asked the Cabinet Member to support plans, which had been put forward by the Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre, to carry out a viability study and to publicly endorse their bid to crowdfund costs through the Mayor’s CrowdFund London 2020 scheme and to provide funding through Lambeth’s Community Infrastructure Levy.
Councillor Bennett responded by stating he fully supported the work that had taken place to refurbish and rejuvenate Streatham Hill Theatre but recognised more still needed to be done. With this in mind, the Cabinet Member confirmed he was happy to support the suggestion that had been put forward by Councillor L. Atkins.
Lambeth Council, 22 January 2020
Questions from Councillors
From: Councillor Liz Atkins, Streatham Hill Ward
To: Councillor Matthew Bennett, Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes
Streatham Hill Theatre
What is the council doing to ensure that the Streatham Hill Theatre is brought back into use as a thriving community asset?
The recently published Streatham Investment and Growth Strategy 2019 -30 has been developed to provide a coherent vision for investment and growth in Streatham. One of the objectives focuses on providing spaces for better and new experiences, with a view to improving existing public spaces to improve visitor experience, create healthier streets, encourage dwell time and attract people to the area.
The strategy commits us to exploring opportunities for Streatham Hill Theatre, with an opportunity analysis and appraisal to explore the feasibility of refurbishing and rejuvenating Streatham Hill Theatre. This should look at owner appetite, funding opportunities, lease structures and operating models. It will also need to identify potential occupant organisations or theatre production groups, as well as broad scope of community uses outside of operating hours. To be successful it will need to accommodate a range of uses and performance types, including rehearsal and community spaces for hire, street-front activation and concessions that operate across the day.
The Council submitted an Expression of Interest to the MHCLG Future High Streets Fund in 2019, seeking £340,000 revenue funding to explore the redevelopment and/ or repurposing of a number of catalytic town centre projects in Streatham, including the Theatre site. Unfortunately the EOI was unsuccessful; however relevant future rounds of grant funding will be applied for.
The 2020 Draft Lambeth Local Plan states: “The former Streatham Hill Theatre is Grade II listed and provides a transformative opportunity to provide a major leisure and entertainment venue with the potential for workspace for creative, digital and cultural industries.“ (p. 405) and “The council will support [its] … regeneration … to become a major leisure and entertainment venue alongside workspace for creative and cultural industries” (p. 410).
To its centenary and beyond!
90 years to the day the theatre opened with “Wake Up and Dream“, ‘Streatham Stars’ Simon Callow and Catherine Russell joined us to celebrate, cut the cake and launch our crowd-funder for a viability study to examine its future for community use.
Stars of stage and screen came together to wish “Happy 90th Birthday” to the disused Streatham Hill Theatre. Simon Callow and Catherine Russell, both with strong connections to Streatham, are supporting our campaign to see it brought back to life as an arts, entertainment and community hub for South London.
To start that journey to provide new opportunities and inspiration for those who live in the area, we are also launching our crowd-funding campaign today.
To help The Friends develop their own proposals for future use of the building, we have formed a panel of professional advisors including architects and consultants, who are providing free help and advice.
However, to carry out a viability study to determine how best to proceed The Friends will need to raise funds. Please help us make the first steps towards reawakening this sleeping beauty as an arts and cultural centre for the community.
Let’s reawaken this sleeping beauty for its centenary and beyond, to provide new opportunities and inspiration for arts and culture.
The Streatham Investment and Growth Strategy 2019-30 sets out plans to explore opportunities for Streatham Hill Theatre as part of a wider regeneration strategy for Streatham that aims to:
It states that “Successfully restoring this building would bring significant improvements to the public realm and historic/cultural fabric of the area, as well as delivering against a number of other objectives presented in this strategy (e.g. Strengthening and Diversifying the Town Centre).”
Now that bingo has ceased, the Friends of Streatham Hill are campaigning for the building to be brought back into use for arts/culture/performance use for the benefit of the community. This would support regeneration of the local area, provide much needed support for local arts and culture, and offer a destination for leisure and entertainment in Streatham.
Lambeth has confirmed the building as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) in January 2019 after a review requested by Beacon Bingo. ACV was originally granted in July 2018 after an application by the Friends. This recognises that recent use of the building for the benefit of the community and that it could have a community use in the future.
See the full update here.