Thurrock Council boss defends Thameside Theatre closure

THE leader of Thurrock Council has issued a statement over the decision to close the Thameside Theatre.

A Thurrock Council spokesperson said: “The cross party scrutiny work on the Thameside, reported to Cabinet in December 2015, concluded that the building did not meet current needs.

“The closure, and the timing of the closure, will depend upon the outcome of on-going work which includes looking at options for a new theatre in Grays, the library review taking place this year and progress in delivering the Grays town centre masterplan.

Central to the masterplan is a new crossing for the railway line for which we are awaiting the Government’s announcement of the Local Growth Fund Round 3 projects.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill said: “I have made it clear that no stone will be left unturned when it comes to ensuring taxpayers money is spent wisely. It costs around £1million over and above the income it generates to run the Thameside complex each year – that means every household is paying around £15 from their council tax just to keep it open year in year out.

“To keep throwing their money at a building which is long past its prime, to keeping a failing theatre provision running is just folly.

“However, We have made clear time and time again there should be a theatre in Grays, it features in our Grays masterplan and we are waiting to hear if funding will be made available to help us realise that in the next three years.

“A new, modern and functional theatre in Grays will help stimulate a decent night time economy, improve our capital town as well as reduce the burden on tax payer money.”

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