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Public’s Views Sought On Future Of Electric Theatre As Rumours Of Bidders Circulate

Published on: 15 Dec, 2015
Updated on: 15 Dec, 2015

A working group will be set up in the new year by Guildford Borough Council to seek the public’s views on the future of the Electric Theatre.

The Electric Theatre.

The Electric Theatre.

The news follows rumours that four bids have been made to the council by groups and individuals expressing an interest to run what is widely regarded as a community asset.

The council’s consultation will aim find out how local people wish the theatre to be run in the future.

It says it will be seeking views ranging from what people want from the theatre, the level of council involvement, to the level of subsidy people think is appropriate.

As reported by the Surrey Advertiser, those who have put in bids to run the entertainment venue are believed to be the Academy of Contemporary Music, Guildford Fringe, the Boileroom and Michel Harper.

The borough council’s lead councillor for economic development, heritage and tourism, Cllr Geoff Davis, said: “Understanding the level of interest from external organisations has been a useful process outlining potential ideas for what could be possible in the future.

“However, no decisions have been made by the working group as it is vital we understand what local people want going forward.

“As a council we spend a significant amount on cultural services across the borough, yet we also have to be mindful of the £5.5 million savings that we have to make over the next four years.

“We endeavour to balance the needs of the community with our quest to provide more efficient services. This is why it is important that we review how we operate places such as the Electric Theatre to make sure it is run in the best possible way for the future.

“This is a full, fair and thorough review, which will seek to understand the views of local people and take these into account for decisions on the future.”

The public consultation on the Electric Theatre will start in January.

For previous stories and articles about the future of the venue, type the words Electric Theatre into the Search in site… box at the top right of this page.

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Responses to Public’s Views Sought On Future Of Electric Theatre As Rumours Of Bidders Circulate

  1. George Potter Reply

    December 16, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Great to see there’s going to be a consultation.

    But will it finish before the council executive makes a decision?

    And will the council executive actually pay any attention to the responses to the consultation?

  2. Sally Parrott Reply

    December 19, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Currently at the Electric Theatre: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This is a fantastic production by local young people belonging to the Man in the Moon theatre group.

    Yesterday (December 18) we watched such talented actors, with all the enthusiasm of youth and the polish of professionals. The cast and crew had the privilege of the use of a professional theatre, and well deserved it.

    The Mayor of Guildford was present, and applauded the performance. Let’s hope she will add her voice to that of so many Guildfordians who think this wonderful and well-used venue is a treasure worth preserving as it is for the people of Guildford.

  3. Jules Cranwell Reply

    December 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    In my view, this is how our council conducts a consultation, as evidenced by Daft Local Plan:

    1. Make decision

    2. Consult the public

    3. Ignore the results of the consultation

    4. Carry out the decision made in step 1.

    Don’t expect anything different for the theatre.

  4. Valerie Thompson Reply

    December 21, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    The attractive brochure of what is on at the Electric Theatre in the near future just shows how much it is used and for a variety of activities.

    It is quite wrong of GBC even to consider selling it off.

    If the interested parties want to hire the building for occasional productions it would be excellent.

    Their fees can help to pay for the more cash-strapped societies, such as local am-dram groups, for whom the venue was created.

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