The redevelopment of Fairfield Halls into one of London’s leading arts venues has taken a step closer as Fairfield (Croydon) Ltd and the council have agreed to work together on a managed programme that would see the venue close on 15 July 2016 in preparation for a £30m transformation.
The two-year closure will allow for a comprehensive redevelopment of the ageing building into a spectacular arts and cultural centre, and part of a new vibrant cultural and educational quarter at College Green. Cllr Timothy Godfrey stated
“We’re delighted to have reached a position that is in the best interest of both parties. We’ve been working alongside the board to help secure funding to support the process for a managed closure. We’re both in full agreement that everyone working at Fairfield is treated fairly and properly.
“Closing the venue is the best possible option; it will enable us to take this once-in-a-generation opportunity to totally transform Fairfield Halls into one of the most prestigious arts and entertainment venues in the country.
“Fairfield served the 20th century proudly and we will ensure that it will do the same in the 21st century, and for generations to come.”
Kate Vennell, chair of Fairfield (Croydon) Ltd’s board, said: “The charity has always welcomed the significant investment in the Fairfield from the council. The council has been clear that it wants a rapid project and although we preferred phasing to allow continuing programme and community access, we appreciate its support for a managed closure.
“The council has reassured us it will start work immediately, deliver a high-quality project and engage the Fairfield charity in the future operations.
“I want to take this opportunity to recognise the achievements of Simon Thomsett, CEO of Fairfield, and our talented team, which was reflected in record attendances through Christmas 2015. We can feel proud that we’re going out on a high.
“Over the next two years we will expand our work supporting young people to take part in cultural activities and providing compelling productions for them such as the Terriers drama. We will be announcing more on this future Fairfield programme over the next few months.”