Elstree and Borehamwood Residents Association launches petition to save The Ark Theatre in Borehamwood

Borehamwood Times: Lawrence Stack shows some of the signatures he has already gained Lawrence Stack shows some of the signatures he has already gained

Campaigners are looking for support to prevent the temporary closure of a theatre at the heart of the community.

Hertswood Academy, which is split over two sites, plans to sell off its Thrift Farm Lane site, which houses the Ark Theatre, for housing, and build a new school and theatre on its Cowley Hill site.

Elstree and Borehamwood Residents Association has launched a petition asking Hertswood Academy and Hertsmere Borough Council to stop demolition until a replacement is up and running.

The petition also asks the school and the council to consider building the new theatre in the centre of Borehamwood.

Lawrence Stack has gathered nearly 200 signatures since Tuesday from a stall outside 96 Shenley Road.

The Croxdale Road resident has attended almost every show the theatre has put on this season and is himself donning a Santa suit to be involved in its pantomime.

He said: “I am passionate about saving the Ark. If it closes down, even for a few years, there will be a huge gap left in the town.

“We were promised a theatre 20 years ago, it is wrong they should knock down the Ark Theatre after it has only been open since 2009.

“The Cowley Hill site would be totally unsuitable for a theatre. There is little parking and it is miles away from the town centre and the station."

Mr Stack said the theatre was built on land owned by the public and the council until the school gained academy status, and the public should therefore had a say in where a replacement should be built.

He added selling the Thrift Farm Lane site would earn the school £35million and a new school would cost £25m to build.

“Why can’t they give us £3.5m needed to build a theatre in the centre of the town that the whole community can access?

"People who come up to me to sign the petition say they don’t use the theatre at the moment because it is so out of the way and poorly advertised, it would be even worse on the new site.

“Instead the theatre should be built in the town centre, on the site of the old library, where it is easily seen and so can attract bigger names."

Hertswood Academy headteacher Peter Gillett said: “Last month, following the publication of our plans to build a wonderful new school for current and future generations of Borehamwood residents, we invited comments through our website at www.hertswoodacademy.org.

“Some of the responses indicate a concern about closing the Ark Theatre while a new theatre is built on our lower site as part of the new academy. The academy has responded to all the comments made on these and other issues. 

"We have not yet seen the petition but will, of course, give it due consideration if it is sent to us.”

Copies of the petition can be found at Barnados and the musuem in Shenley Road and in Meryfield Primary School.

Comments (5)

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10:18am Wed 18 Dec 13

david Burcombe says...

What the people think should be taken into consideration after all said and done this is a democracy.
The Theatre is used by the pupils to advance their media and performing studies of the school pupils. if it is demolished before the new ARK is built it will hinder the training of f talented youngsters. It will also loose revenue for the Ark and deprive the local people and further afield of this amenity that puts on some wonderful shows.
The TTSHORTFILMAWARDS signed a contract on the 1st of December to stage the under 25's awards January the 25th with several local businesses supporting the event along with The Rotary Club who will be conducting the Raffle in aid of the Food Bank.
What the people think should be taken into consideration after all said and done this is a democracy. The Theatre is used by the pupils to advance their media and performing studies of the school pupils. if it is demolished before the new ARK is built it will hinder the training of f talented youngsters. It will also loose revenue for the Ark and deprive the local people and further afield of this amenity that puts on some wonderful shows. The TTSHORTFILMAWARDS signed a contract on the 1st of December to stage the under 25's awards January the 25th with several local businesses supporting the event along with The Rotary Club who will be conducting the Raffle in aid of the Food Bank. david Burcombe

11:04pm Wed 18 Dec 13

Palma21 says...

With the amount of money the school will make from the sale of the site they could have their own theatre. The people of Borehamwood should have their own centrally placed state of the art theatre in keeping with the largest town in Hertsmere.
With the amount of money the school will make from the sale of the site they could have their own theatre. The people of Borehamwood should have their own centrally placed state of the art theatre in keeping with the largest town in Hertsmere. Palma21

11:07am Thu 19 Dec 13

Andrew_L says...

Love it Lawrence, Well done
Love it Lawrence, Well done Andrew_L

11:10am Thu 19 Dec 13

Andrew_L says...

Please note the next Elstree & Borehamwood Residents Association (EBRA) Meeting is at 8pm at the Ark Theatre on Wednesday 8th January. For more details:

http://ebresidents.w
eebly.com/

or for Facebook lovers:

https://www.facebook
.com/ElstreeBorehamw
oodResidents
Please note the next Elstree & Borehamwood Residents Association (EBRA) Meeting is at 8pm at the Ark Theatre on Wednesday 8th January. For more details: http://ebresidents.w eebly.com/ or for Facebook lovers: https://www.facebook .com/ElstreeBorehamw oodResidents Andrew_L

4:37pm Fri 20 Dec 13

david Burcombe says...

http://www.change.or
g/en-GB/petitions/re
sidents-of-elstree-a
nd-borehamwood-save-
the-ark-not-to-demol
ish-until-new-one-is
-built

The online petition
http://www.change.or g/en-GB/petitions/re sidents-of-elstree-a nd-borehamwood-save- the-ark-not-to-demol ish-until-new-one-is -built The online petition david Burcombe

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