Fringe Box



Council Stresses – No Decisions Yet Taken on Electric Theatre

Published on: 4 Nov, 2015
Updated on: 10 Nov, 2015

The seaside's coming to town - outside the Electric Theatre.Guildford Borough Council (GBC) has issued a press release today to stress that no decisions have yet been taken over the future of the Electric Theatre.

The press release follows a report by Eagle Radio that a decision had been taken on the theatre’s future.

It is known that the Electric Theatre is on the wish list of the owner of the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM), based next door in Rodboro Buildings and that the owner, businessman Kainne Clements, is reported to have threatened that if he was unable to acquire a lease on the Electric Theatre he might move the academy to London.

The council press release made no mention of any premature report. It stated: “The council’s working group, made up of officers, councillors and an independent theatre consultant, is still working to assess the future of the Electric Theatre. No decisions have yet been made for any changes to ownership or operation.

“The group [the Electric Theatre and Yvonne Arnaud Working Group] is conducting a full, thorough and fair review of the Electric Theatre. It is looking at key areas including a future operating model for the theatre and its financial situation.

“The group has been in place since January 2015, following on from a scrutiny committee recommendation, and will report its recommendations to the Executive in January 2016.”

Cllr Geoff Davis

Cllr Geoff Davis

Earlier this year Cllr Geoff Davis (Con, Holy Trinity), the lead councillor for economic development, heritage and tourism, denied that the theatre group was also looking at the Yvonne Arnaud, which receives a subsidy of more than £300,000 from the council, as part of the review he oversees. But it is understood that the denial was a mistake.

In October he said: “This is one of a number of reviews taking place across the council as we are facing an increasingly challenging financial climate and need to identify savings of £5.5 million over the next four years.”

See also: Owner Of Academy Of Contemporary Music Wants to Lease Electric Theatre

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Responses to Council Stresses – No Decisions Yet Taken on Electric Theatre

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    November 4, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I heard it reported on the radio that Cllr Davies implied that a decision on the Electric Theatre and ACM Had been made during the group meeting.

    It seems that this GBC release is to make clear he has ‘misspoken’ again.

    Maybe he should take the same action as he did with others talking outside his committees, and remove himself?

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    November 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Just how independent is this ‘working group’, given a GGG councillor was ejected from it, on the basis that she may have had an independent opinion?

    And how is it that a property developer is best suited to determining what is best for the heritage and cultural portfolio for Guildford?

    Since taking over the portfolio, he has already given the Guildford Archaeological Society its marching orders from the museum.

  3. Geoff Davis Reply

    November 8, 2015 at 7:19 am

    May I respond to the comments of Jules Cranwell?

    The Electric Theatre and Yvonne Arnaud Working Group is completely independent. It is “cross party”, and David Reeve from GGG is a valuable member.

    A specialist theatre consultant sits on the group to advise generally.

    I am not a “property developer” and never have been. I am a chartered surveyor (Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) with over 52 years professional experience, 42 years in Guildford.

    It is not the “Guildford Archaeological Society” currently with their offices and library in the Museum. It is the Surrey Archaeological Society, with activities all over Surrey, and beyond.

    Notice to quit the Museum had been given seven years ago, well before my time. SAS were occupying on a 1953 rent, with no security of tenure.

    I would be very happy to meet Mr Cranwell for a coffee.

    Geoff Davis is a Conservative borough councillor for Holy Trinity ward and the lead councillor for economic development, heritage and tourism.

  4. Frank Phillipson Reply

    November 8, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Whether it’s called the “Guildford Archaeological Society” or the “Surrey Archaeological Society” “with activities all over Surrey, and beyond” makes no difference.

    Guildford is the county town of Surrey and surely should therefore be at the centre of Surrey activities.

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