I VIEW the present situation concerning the possible closure of the Connaught Theatre, Pavilion Theatre and Assembly Hall with great dismay.
It is short-sighted and negative to consider closing one, two or all three of these valuable venues so hastily.
If any, or all of them, is running at a loss, these questions should first be asked.
Why is this? What can be done to attract more custom?
Are all the venues offering a sufficiently wide and varied range of attractive programmes?
Are they being used as often as possible? Is the pricing policy conducive to attracting more usage?
These are all management issues that should be tackled imaginatively and, above all, positively.
I attend the popular modern jive dances at the Assembly Hall every Wednesday.
These must surely run at a profit for the council.
If that usage is profitable, why shouldn’t other events, whether regular, occasional or one-off, also be profitable?
The idea of replacing all three venues with a single, multi-purpose complex sounds very grand, but wait a minute: how many years has it taken for the council to reach satisfactory decisions and achieve progress with the replacement of the Aquarena and the redevelopment of Teville Gate?
With such a track record, why should we suppose that the council can suddenly foster such an ambitious plan in the current financial climate?
If, for example, it was decided to concentrate everything on the Connaught site, what would become of the other two sites?
The thought of the Assembly Hall being pulled down, or simply left to go to rack and ruin while we wait a decade or two for action, is quite unthinkable.
If the Pier Pavilion site were favoured for redevelopment, how would the inadequacy of nearby parking be resolved?
By an underground car park beneath it, as the sea level rises owing to global warming?
Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that – perhaps it might be taken seriously!
Please don’t allow Worthing to become culturally impoverished.
Please, dear Worthing council, think positively.