Streatham Hill Theatre announces consultants and viability study in first stage of comeback

Streatham Hill Theatre auditorium. Photo courtesy Tim Hatcher

The Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre, supported by the Mayor of London, Lambeth Council and The Theatres Trust, and backed by a successful crowdfunding initiative, have started work with the successful bidders of a hard fought competitive tender to produce a Viability Study and Economic Impact Assessment on the historic building. This will deliver a report on the theatre’s potential to become a multi-purpose arts and culture centre for the local community.

David Harvey, Chair of the Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre said:

“I am delighted to announce we have appointed a crack team led by renowned arts business consultants FEI to deliver this milestone work on reawakening Streatham Hill Theatre. We are confident that the team will deliver a compelling case for its use as an arts and cultural venue fit for a post-Covid renewal. Doing so will help bring new opportunities and benefits to the local economy and to the community that has given us such strong backing.”

Nick Dodds, Managing Director of FEI said:

“We are really excited to be working with the Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre to help bring this important building back to life. We have put together a very experienced team of architects, cost consultants, economists and business planners to find realistic and sustainable options for the building over the next few months. We know from experience that these projects take a huge amount of commitment and enthusiasm from the lead organisation to realise their potential – something the Friends have plenty of!”

Councillor Sonia Winifred, Cabinet Member for Equalities and Culture, Lambeth Council said:

“The appointment of FEI and their consultant team follows a successful crowdfunding initiative and marks a really important phase in the history of Streatham Hill Theatre. Their appointment is a critical step towards understanding what a viable future for the theatre looks like and how that can be achieved. The Council is keen to see the building play a key role in supporting local jobs, boosting the town centre economy and raising Streatham’s profile. We look forward to continuing to work with the Friends and their appointed team over the coming months!”

Claire Appleby, Architecture Adviser at Theatres Trust said:

“We are delighted to be supporting the Viability Study and Economic Impact Assessment for the Streatham Hill Theatre through our Theatres at Risk Capacity Building Programme. The announcement of the appointment of FEI and their consultant team to carry out these works is an exciting and important first step in the journey to breathe new life into this magnificent theatre which has been on our Theatres at Risk register since 2017.”

The viability study has been funded following an overwhelming community response to a crowdfunding campaign by the Friends group of local volunteers. The Crowdfund London campaign gained 440 pledges, and won the backing of the Mayor of London, Lambeth Council and the Theatres Trust. It also gained high-profile endorsements from the creative community, including Baroness Benjamin DBE, DL, Simon Callow CBE, Lolita Chakrabarti, Catherine Russell, and Sir Mark Rylance.

To deliver this project FEI have teamed up with theatre architects Aedas Arts Team, cost and programme consultants Pulse Consult, and creative industry economists Nordicity. They will look at different options for the future of the Grade II listed building as an arts and cultural centre, and then set out a robust and compelling case to decision-makers and interested parties to come on-board.

The report will be completed in December 2020, and will move the Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre a step closer to realising their plans to bring back to life the ‘sleeping beauty’, setting the scene for detailed engagement with potential partners in 2021.

Streatham Hill Theatre foyer. Photo courtesy Tim Hatcher

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