LETTER: Venue there to be enjoyed?

With regard to the story ‘Could the bell soon be rung on wrestling’ (Herald & Gazette, February 2), the real debate, and one I hope Worthing’s councillors will address, is:-

Should the Assembly Hall remain dark rather than stage an event that local residents and visitors to the town support and enjoy?

Wrestling has been staged in Worthing theatres since the 1950s.

It is a tradition in the town and has been an important part of a varied entertainments programme provided by the council.

Premier Promotions, whom I represent, have been responsible for the shows for the past 23 years.

During that time, we have brought top performers from all over the world to Worthing, while our Christmas events have helped to raise thousands of pounds for the mayoral charities.

Whether you like wrestling or not is not the issue.

The fact is the shows are popular with a wide range of people, in particular with families, many of whom might not visit Worthing’s theatres for any other reason.

A few years ago, the then mayor presented me, on behalf of Premier Promotions, with an award in recognition of our contribution to Worthing life.

While I would dispute some of their figures, and I have received an apology for the way that our long-standing agreement was cancelled and new terms imposed without consultation, I understand where Worthing Theatres are coming from. They are under considerable financial pressure to ensure the Connaught Theatre, Pier Pavilion and Assembly Hall are viable.

But at what cost? Wrestling is not the only long-running show affected in this way. John Mann’s organ concerts ended last year after 34 years based on the same criteria that they were a minority interest and not a money-making concern.

John Freemantle

Langridge Drive

Portslade

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