A New Home for Galleon?

Okay, so I’m a bit slow on the uptake – this was one of the things that arrived when I had my eye off the ball at the back end of last year. We’d already talked about a new, purpose built theatre for Greenwich but it took a step further when the plans were submitted in December.

It would seem that Telford Homes in seeking to deal with the thorny issue of their having to provide affordable stuff in their Creekside development have gone with affordable workspace and, in a possibly interesting move, the opportunity for Galleon Theatre to move into part of it. You can see the proposals here.

The main proposal is the third document down and it it does have the potential to be interesting, and I’d love Galleon to find a new theatre space after the disgraceful, deceitful behaviour of Bed & bars over their last home at Belushis.

One note of caution though. I see that in the ‘smaller print’ Galleon have a specific amount of time to raise the funds for the fit up and if they don’t manage to do that Telford will sell it off at proper market rates, slapping themselves on the back for having kept their side of the bargain and provided the opportunity for affordable stuff, it was just The Poor People who couldn’t stick to their side. So if this goes ahead, I hope Galleon have a strong campaign in place for fitting-out or we’ll all be in trouble.

I’m sort of surprised I haven’t heard anything about this as if I was part of Galleon I’d already be out with a provisional begging bowl.

But then I’ve been under a stone. Perhaps I’ve missed that too.


3 Comments to “A New Home for Galleon?”

  1. Mike says:

    I do hope this goes ahead!

    This needs more publicity maybe to help it get the funding it needs to agree the deal.

    Ideas anyone?

  2. Craig Oaks says:

    Yes – we need the Playhouse back. What is on theatrical offer at the moment (I refer to the so-called Theatre is dire). Lets hope that they are a strong presence in the new ‘Arts Venue’ to be opening up in the old town house, which is at the moment the under-used Dance Agency. Come back Galleon Theatre Company and the Greenwich Playhouse.

  3. Thank you Greenwich Phantom for the continued interest and support of the Greenwich Playhouse and Galleon Theatre Company which served our borough, at no cost to the tax payer, between 1995 to April 2012.

    Your evaluation of our current situation is incisive.

    We have been in prolonged negotiations with the developer Telford Homes with view to creating a state-of-the-art 120 seat studio (a mini-Donmar) at their development on Creek Road, near the Laban Centre. We were offered by Telford reasonable terms for a future long lease of 4,500 sq. ft. of quality retail space and on an annual rent which was close to what we had previously paid (for two thirds less of space) at the ghastly Belushis in Greenwich’s station forecourt. In all fairness Telford has shown itself to be a supportive, generous and enthusiastic potential future partner.

    Our plans were developed and ready to be announced with a fundraising campaign at the beginning of this year. The scheme was designed and costed to reveal the fit out costs to be in the region of £400K. We have business and creative plans to demonstrate how such a venue can be viable, self sustaining and offering the quality of entertainment which the Royal borough a worldwide culture destination, deserves and in my opinion is currently lacking.

    Simultaneously, Greenwich Council made considerable advances with their plans to create a cultural hub on the site currently occupied by GDA. Following a meeting in late December and discussions throughout January it became very clear that the potential of our successful fundraising of the necessary £400K fit out costs from trusts, the arts and charitable funding sectors had been decisively undermined by the Council’s larger scheme. The future hub because of its size and political support will inevitably be viewed by funders as Greenwich’s arts funding priority.

    Our current position is that we are continuing to assess the viability for raising the fit out cost from private and commercial investors. We are also in discussions with Greenwich Council with view to securing a place for Galleon within the future hub; which we view as an exciting opportunity to create a centre of artistic excellence, driven by ability and results; and offering the local tax payer the quality of entertainment it deserves and which it pays for through its taxes.

    Alice de Sousa
    Galleon Theatre Company & Greenwich Playhouse