Please take up fight to save Eastbourne theatre

From: Angela HughesWest Terrace Eastbourne

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 2:23 pm
Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-200319-110742008

I love the way that Annemarie Field always speaks out plainly when questionable decisions appear to have been made by Eastbourne Borough Council.

Please, please, please can you get on the case for the Devonshire Park Theatre?

Eastbourne is so fortunate to have the Grade II listed Devonshire Park Theatre; it truly is a unique gem and needs to be respected and loved.

Frank Matcham theatres are world-renowned and Eastbourne is blessed to have one.

I understand that the council has taken the decision to keep the Devonshire Park Theatre in darkness until the end of the year , not opening until pantomime in December.

This is crazy!

The theatre will suffer from lack of care and attention, the very fabric of the building will be put in jeopardy.

It needs to be open and in use delivering high quality drama to maintain its position in what should be the crown jewels of this town.

With the Covid situation Eastbourne should enjoy a bumper summer and autumn season with far more people staying in the UK.

I know that local hotels have recently seen a huge surge in bookings so why does Eastbourne Borough Council keep making questionable decisions about our very special unique buildings?

The plans for the Redoubt have also been placed in their “closed” not needed folder.

It is not what the council should be doing!

Eastbourne residents and visitors deserve better.

We pay our council tax so the buildings that are owned by the council are maintained, not closed!

With the vast sums of money that Eastbourne Borough Council has been spending on buying properties – Victoria Mansions for one – which took millions to restore and caused many months of upheaval for local traders, it really is time for someone to take up the case of the Devonshire Park Theatre.

Whispers say that the council wants to close the Devonshire Park Theatre as it doesn’t really suit their misconceived ideas of becoming a conference venue.

It really is time for someone to shout: “What planet are you living on?”

The conference ship sailed many years ago.

It has been tried before and Eastbourne missed out to the towns and cities that have venues seating 15,000 plus.

Eastbourne Borough Council needs to stop and take a good look at Eastbourne, be thankful for the uniqueness and beauty all around them and then put our treasured buildings to the forefront and invest in their upkeep.

The Devonshire Park Theatre, the Redoubt, the Bandstand, the seafront and its lighting, and the cleanliness of the town centre are what they should be investing in.