Plans for a new theatre in Greenwich, complete with rooftop bar, are set to move forward this week despite concern over the impact on Greenwich Theatre.

The council plans to sell the Borough Halls for a “performing arts hub” and insists the style of theatre would be drastically different from options already being available.

Only some of the building is owned by the council, which says developing it itself would be too expensive and complex.

The council is negotiating with a production company and insisted the type of show would be different.

A report on the progress of the deal is set to be discussed by councillors later this week.

Officers say the plan is to provide an alternative to the West End in Greenwich.

Officers said: “The company’s’ proposal is intended to provide an alternative to the saturated and expensive West End market place whilst at the same time providing opportunities for jobs, community engagement and offer restaurant, bar and café facilities to serve the day and night time economies.”


Greenwich Borough Hall: Sale plan sparks fear for Greenwich's theatres

Councillors have previously expressed concern that a new theatre company moving into the historic building would spell the end of nearby Greenwich Theatre.

These fears have been played down by officers who say that the target market is different to the existing theatre.

“Whilst ‘the company’ has an established global network of commercial

musical productions which also make use of the larger UK regional theatres,

Greenwich Theatre is an established community theatre focused on

developing new and emerging theatre companies.


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“The content promoted by each organisation is thus very different and appeals to different audiences.

“‘The company’ will not for instance be producing pantomime productions. ‘The company’s’ proposal is intended to provide an alternative to the saturated and expensive West End market place.”

Greenwich Theatre was established as a music hall in 1855, and has an auditorium of about 400 people.

The Borough Halls, close to Greenwich Station, was used by Greenwich Dance until last year.

The building is riddled with problems including asbestos, which it’s estimated would cost at least £10m to fix.

The theatre company preparing to take over the site are planning a 640-seater auditorium and a rooftop bar and restaurant.

The scheme will be discussed at a scrutiny meeting on June 20 at Woolwich Town Hall.