A report commissioned by the Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre has outlined the theatre’s significant potential in helping to restart and boost the local economy as well as providing work and opportunities to its local population.
An independent study says that restoring the dormant historic building as a centre for arts and culture “could play a major role in leading the post-Covid high-street recovery, developing the ’15-minute neighbourhood’, increasing localised co-working opportunities and ultimately making a significant economic contribution to the regeneration of this part of London”.
The Viability Study and Economic Impact Assessment was carried out by a team led by respected arts consultancy, FEI, and financially supported by the Mayor of London, Lambeth Council, the Theatres Trust and over 400 crowdfunded donations from the very supportive local community as well as other supporters from further afield.
The report outlines the Theatre’s potential to generate footfall, jobs and economic growth, estimating that over a 30 year period, Streatham Hill Theatre could add £70m+ to the local economy, alongside creating a broad range of economic and social benefits simply through its continued presence and usage.
The huge 1929-built theatre seats 2800 and was the last completed design of the celebrated theatre architect W G R Sprague. The building was most recently host to bingo which had kept it going, but now its future is uncertain and its enormous size ironically makes it even more vulnerable. Recognising this, the theatre was added to the Theatres Trust’s Theatres at Risk Register in 2017.
The venue’s relative distance from other large theatres in Wimbledon and Croydon may help it find a dedicated local audience as part of a sort of Outer London chain of ‘Number One” touring theatres.
You can read the report here
See my earlier detailed article about the theatre here