Thursday, 22 April 2021

Workshop wants rent ‘holiday’

WARGRAVE Theatre Workshop has asked the parish council for a rent “holiday”.

The amateur dramatics group normally uses Woodclyffe Hall for rehearsals and productions but it has been closed for much of the last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In June, the council agreed to a partial rent holiday for two quarters, which would then be recouped in the next financial year.

The group has now asked for this to be waived, along with the fourth quarter payment, totalling £1,500.

The council has not yet made a decision.

Councillor Terry Cattermole said: “This is a lease and with leases it is rather different to casual usage, which you can cancel. I’m all for deferrment, I just have a few doubts about whether we should stand the full impact.”

Councillor Graham Howe, who is a member of the group, said its income had been “sorely hit” and it would continue to struggle until the covid restrictions were eased.

The group had to cancel its spring and autumn productions as well as the pantomime, which is its biggest source of income.

The village festival, where the group stages Shakespeare on the Green, an outdoor performance on Mill Green, was cancelled.

It was able to hold three performances of A Seat in the Park in September, also on Mill Green, but this was limited to an audience of only 50 people each time.

Cllr Howe added: “The committee is trying to look at doing some kind of production this summer, which would be a bit bigger than last year. It is still going to be difficult to generate significant revenue and I would suggest members bear that in mind.”

Councillor Phil Davies said: “I can understand why they would not want to pay anything but I would like to see various proposals and not just us picking up the tab.”

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