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Blackheath Halls

Transcript of the recording made by Darryl at 853blog of Leisure Councillor John Fahy responding to the public on Blackheath Halls:

mp3 version

Audio recording.

Please note that several sections (crossed out) were really difficult to understand – if you can hear what is being said, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll tweak:

…er from Blackheath Halls, and many of us attend functions there and see the quality of the performances etc.

These are very dark days for the arts in the UK. I think not only have we had to make difficult decisions in Greenwich, we learned today that something like 300 organisations across the UK, I think 5 in Greenwich, have had their funds cut by the Arts Council.

So in that regard, it’s a very depressing time. <In particular and the Friends representing here this evening asked some questions about the difficult choices the council had to make, both in respect of Blackheath Halls, the theatre, and Greenwich Dance Agency.

In respect of the theatre and Greenwich Dance Agency, had we decided not to fund one, or the other, or both, we would find ourselves in a position where we would have two empty buildings on our hands, because they were buildings owned by the council. And that of course would be even more difficult, in the longer term.

In respect of Blackheath Halls, as I understand it the Blackheath Halls covenant has been purchased recently by Trinity Laban and obviously their performing arts are going to use the hall more extensively. And obviously that is a matter for them. But if the Friends look at paragraph 3.51 and paragraph 3.5.2, it relates to the fact following representations and all due scrutiny, cabinet has set aside a sum of £42,000 to support the delivery of community based and participatory projects across the borough. And I would urge strongly for Blackheath Halls to seek to keep that going.

I’m very happy to meet friends of the Blackheath Halls because I think for any of us, we want to ensure that, at least here in Greenwich, as we move towards the Olympics, the Cultural Olympiad 2012, we don’t want any lights out in any of our quality buildings, and I very much hope that, with all of our joint efforts we can hope to keep Blackheath Halls, and lift its contribution to the community, which is set out very well in the programme that the Friends have very kindly circulated.

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