Harlow Playhouse could leave council control

Politics / Tue 7th Feb 2017 at 08:37am

HARLOW Playhouse is to leave council control, as the local authority begins the process of finding a new operator for the theatre.

Harlow Council has issued an invitation to tender, with potential management being asked to apply during the next month.

At present the theatre is owned and operated by the council, but it is planned that the new operator will lease the building from the council and be in charge of all activities there.

Despite outsourcing its management, the council said it was “committed to securing the Playhouse’s future”, and as such has agreed to maintain its annual funding of £326,000 until 2018/19. However it plans to reduce its funding commitment to the organisation after that time.

The council will also give the theatre £2 million during the next three years for building improvements.

Councillor Emma Toal said tendering the theatre’s management was part of the local authority’s plan to secure its future, but council funding will decrease.

“This doesn’t change our ambitions for the Playhouse and where we want it to be. We are looking for an experienced organisation to not only manage and operate the Playhouse but also to take the theatre forward as a significant cultural force for the region. I believe that the Playhouse is in one of its strongest positions ever and the time is right to move ahead with this process,” she added.

The deadline for tenders is March 7.

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1 Comment for Harlow Playhouse could leave council control:

2017-02-07 15:34:53

What utter hypocrites the Labour Party are! They opposed this for years, claiming it was nasty privatisation! Now they are doing it! What guarantee are they going to give to the Playhouse if no tenders occur?! Does the bell Toal for the Playhouse?

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