DATA has been campaigning for some time to get the Guildhall Theatre reopened, after essential roof repairs are completed, at the earliest opportunity. A member of the DATA Committee - Tom Banks - asked the following question at the Derby City Council meeting on Wednesday 24th July:
"What is the timescale to complete the repairs to the roof of the Guildhall Theatre and will the Cabinet Member give an assurance that the Guildhall Theatre will reopen after these repairs are completed?"
The answer given by Councillor Matthew Holms, the Deputy Leader of the Council was:
"The council's contractor and consultant teams continue to undertake structural investigations and remedial works with the aim of completing repairs as soon as possible to allow the venue to reopen."
Tom was allowed to ask a supplementary question, which was:
"Is the Cabinet Member aware of the considerable disruption, inconvenience and cost to amateur theatre companies affected by the extended closure, some of which have transferred their productions to theatres outside the city, and what assistance will be offered to encourage previous users of the Guildhall Theatre to return?"
Councillor Holmes said that the second question was outside of his remit and should be directed to Councillor Robin Wood, the Cabinet Member for Leisure and Culture. Tom intends to contact Councillor Wood in the next few days.
Tom also has a monthly slot on BBC Radio Derby to talk about amateur theatre and he raised our concerns there earlier in the week. There was also an item on the Radio Derby news on Friday morning.
DATA understands the need for the Guildhall to be made safe for performers and audiences, but we will continue to press the Council for this essential facility to be reopened as soon as possible.