Borough Halls to remain arts venue despite Greenwich Dance departure, council says

Greenwich Borough Halls
The clocks may be out of sync, but Greenwich Council says the Borough Halls will remain an arts venue

Greenwich Borough Halls’ future as an arts venue is secure despite Greenwich Dance’s decision to move out of the former town hall, the council says.

Before Easter, Greenwich Dance said it was leaving the building – which functioned as the old Greenwich town hall from 1939 to 1965 – for a new venue “further east in the borough”.

Acting chair Martha Oakes told The Stage that the Greenwich Council-owned building was no longer fit for the organisation’s needs.

“Greenwich Dance has been looking to move out of the Borough Hall for quite some considerable time,” she told the arts paper.

“Despite its beauty, as an un-renovated listed building, it’s become increasingly not fit for our purposes, particularly in terms of access and facilities, and we are now finally leaving the Borough Hall on May 1 to set up home further east in the borough of Greenwich.”

The organisation lost funding from Arts Council England last year.

Greenwich Borough Halls
The Borough Halls was the old Greenwich town hall from 1939 to 1965

But Greenwich Council says the building will remain in use for the arts. A spokesperson told 853: “Greenwich Dance has a proud reputation and it is great news that it will continue to be based and offer professional dance classes in our borough, seeking to move further east, to work even more with diverse groups.

“Our aspiration is to use the Borough Halls for an arts venue. The building requires major refurbishment and fit out and we are actively exploring the feasibility with a renowned theatre company.”

In 2013, Greenwich Council approved plans to create a performing arts hub in the Borough Halls, although it is understood Greenwich Theatre successfully resisted plans to move it from its current council-owned venue on Crooms Hill into the old town hall site.

Little has been heard of the Borough Halls scheme since the closure of the Firepower Museum in Woolwich in 2016 led to a new proposal for a “cultural quarter” in the Berkeley Homes-owned Royal Arsenal development.

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