Cultural and arts venues across Bromley need support. Bromley Liberal Democrat Allan Tweddle has written to the 3 Conservative MPs who represent the borough to ask them to ensure they get the financial support they need. Without these venues Bromley will be a very different borough - a worse borough.
There are many theatres within the Borough from the Churchill Theatre to community theatres such as Bromley Little Theatre, Beckenham Theatre, Wickham Theatre Centre through to pub theatres such as Bridge House Theatre. The Churchill Theatre is not only a top class touring venue but also home for performances of local amateur groups including West Wickham Operatic Society. There are also venues outside of the Borough that your residents have a particular interest in, for example Bromley Players, a local amateur dramatic group which has around 100 local people involved within the society perform at the Bob Hope Theatre in nearby Eltham.
The Government is providing some support to the arts sector during the COVID-19 crisis but not enough. These venues desperately need significant financial support to ensure they can remain open. Providing financial support for these cultural and arts venues is an investment for the future, when we come through this crisis, and is essential to our cultural sector.
We need to know what the government is doing to support these venues during the COVID-19 crisis; not just now but also as we come through the other side of this crisis and they face a different set of challenges. Many other businesses will be able to adapt and even cinemas can have 5 showings a day of the same movie making it possible to have a socially distanced commercial run but theatre and live performance, with one performance a day and sellable seats reduced by an average of 80% simply cannot stay afloat. Beckenham Theatre Centre for example has a capacity of 47 seats, this would mean an audience of less than 10 each night to allow social distancing.
Without these venues Bromley will be a very different borough - a worse borough. It is essential that they and all who depend on them are preserved and supported through this difficult period. We have had warnings already with theatres across the UK going out of business (Southampton, Southport and Leicester) and many others are on the brink of redundancy consultations with their staff