The long-term future of Wimbledon Theatre is a step closer to being secured following continued negotiations led by Merton Council and the pledge of a financial package.
Merton has continued to broker a deal between the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) and the Wimbledon Civic Theatre Trust (WCTT). The deal will see ATG, the second largest theatre group both in the West End and in the regions, take over management of the theatre from WCTT.
To help facilitate the deal, Merton has agreed to a repayable loan of £300,000 to ATG and the Council as owner of the theatre building, has agreed to spend up to £300,000 in refurbishments and repairs to the exterior of the building. As part of the deal with WCTT, ATG will take on the theatre’s current debt which is in excess of £1million.
At a Council Meeting held on 16 July, Councillors agreed to back these proposals and it is envisaged a contract will be signed with ATG over the summer.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Andrew Judge, said: “We are sure that remains the best arrangement for the Theatre and for Merton. We are in the latter stages of reaching a conclusion of the deal with ATG and WCTT and we are very keen to get the theatre up and running again as soon as possible.
“We are still waiting on decisions from the Charities Commission and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, but, assuming no issues arise from these bodies, we envisage the agreement with ATG and WCTT being signed shortly and a new chapter for Wimbledon Theatre beginning.”
PRESS CONTACT – Jason Hill