Save Our Fairfield’s campaigners and supporters have reacted with dismay at the announcement of a July closure date for Fairfield Halls, despite no operational plan or strategy in place from Croydon Council for when the building is due to reopen in 2018.
This latest news follows a previous council statement that it would withdraw all funding from Fairfield Halls if it did not capitulate to the council’s demand to close on June 30th. Fairfield (Croydon) Ltd had no option but to agree to the Council’s terms.
The announcement has come as no surprise to campaigners, who have been calling for the council to adopt a phased refurbishment so that at least one of Fairfield’s three venues could remain open throughout.
Andy Hylton, who is one of the lead campaigners says,
“Much of this campaign has been fought on social media, but this is an issue that should be debated in a Council meeting, in full view of the public, so we can begin to have some transparency.
Questions are still unanswered. How are the Council able to close down such a valuable local asset without properly discussing plans, costings and who will be operating the venue once it finally re-opens?”
And, it’s not too late.
Save Our Fairfield will continue to campaign for a phased refurbishment, with the petition continuing to gather support.
Further protest events, such as the previous ‘flash song’, are also planned.
Why continue the fight?
The campaign believes that alternative funding options for a phased refurbishment have not been properly explored and that Fairfield Halls was not given the opportunity to start a fundraising drive themselves.
Save Our Fairfield campaigners, which include experienced arts & entertainment venue experts, will now scrutinise the latest refurbishment structural designs published as part of the planning notice. Previously displayed blueprints at Croydon Town Hall were lacking in detail and experienced staff expressed concern that some of the planned alterations to back of house functions especially may not be operationally viable.
Campaign reports that the skilled and knowledgeable staff at Fairfield Halls do not believe the refurbishments will be completed in only two years and also believe that the cost of a phased refurbishment would be much lower than the Council have suggested.
The campaigners strongly believe that wider access to quality music and the arts will be threatened if this closure goes ahead. Many groups supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged people, as well as the tens of thousands of local school children who participate in performances and events at the Fairfield Halls, will lose their valuable connection to the arts in Croydon for over two years.
The fight goes on.
What can you do? Save Our Fairfield advises:
Save Our Fairfield advises:
Show Croydon Council that we disgaree with their intentions to close the venue down during refurbishments.
If we can show large enough public opinion against the plans we could make a difference and encourage a public meeting, where we can ask for more details about costs, plans and who will operate the venue when it opens in the future.
- Write or email
Send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or write to Cllr Timothy Godfrey c/o Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR0 1NX
- Sign the petition
Find it at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-our-fairfield-halls-1
- Support the campaign on social media
Facebook Save Our Fairfield
- Keep an eye on the website
Find the campaign at www.saveourfairfield.org