Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Save the Thameside Theatre group given deadline

A COMMUNITY group which hopes to save the Thameside Theatre from closure has had a deadline to come up with a viable plan extended by three months.

Thurrock councillors have been working with community groups to devise a business plan to save the theatre in Grays.

Campaigners got together after the council said it was no longer viable to keep the run down theatre going.

Mark Coxshall, councillor responsible for regeneration, strategic planning and external relations, has been working with the group and previously set a March deadline for a viable business plan but this has now been extended to June.

Cllr Coxshall said: “There is stay until June. It’s going so well. We wanted it to be finished by the end of March but moving forward we didn’t stop in March. We’re continuing negotiations and meetings are being held to see if we can make it financially viable.”
said he didn’t want to give the groups false hope.

Cllr Coxshall has previous said the scheme to form a limited company was “high risk” and he didn’t want to give the campaign group false hope that they could build a future for the theatre.

The Thameside complex includes a museum. There is also a library which may be relocated to a new civic office, which is yet to fully open.

The council had considered including the theatre in its fire sale of council properties to help it fill a £34.3million financial black hole. This could still be on the cards if a financially viable scheme isn’t produced in time but the council currently views a community run theatre as the best possible outcome for the complex.

The theatre is set to host a Music Man Project in Thurrock This is a successful musical educational programme for children and adults with learning disabilities which provides accessible tuition leading to inspirational performances. Music Man Projects, including one in Southend which was supported by the late Southend West MP, Sir David Amess, are no strangers to performing on world renowned venues such as The London Palladium and The Royal Albert Hall and their aspirations are building.

A free taster session will be held at Thameside Theatre, Grays on Friday, April 22 from 9.30am to 11.30am.

To find out more, visit TheMusicManProject.com

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