Borehamwood Times Review of the Year - December

Borehamwood Times: Collecting signatures to save the Ark theatre Collecting signatures to save the Ark theatre

In December, hundreds of people signed a petition to prevent the temporary closure of a theatre at the heart of the community.

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

Members of the public were outraged at the news, with Elstree and Borehamwood Residents Association launching a petition asking Hertswood Academy and Hertsmere Borough Council to stop demolition until a replacement was up and running

The petition also asked the school and the council to consider building the new theatre in the centre of Borehamwood where it would benefit the town more.

Meanwhile, the future of a social club hung in the balance when its manager went to court to fight her eviction.

Karen Ward, who managed the Arundel Social Club at Three Ways Community Centre in Borehamwood, refused to hand over the keys after her lease ended.

She said she had been promised a three-year lease if all went well and said Hertsmere Leisure had used “underhand means” to get her out, such as trying to evict her for not paying rent when she had not been sent an invoice. Hertsmere Leisure denied all allegations.

Meanwhile a foodbank was bracing itself to feed more people as temperatures fell below freezing and winter began to bite.

Borehamwood Foodbank, which is based in St Teresa’s Church in Borehamwood, saw a fifty per cent increase in the number of households seeking help since September.

The foodbank, which feeds 950 households, was awarded a £3,000 grant from Lloyds Bank which would be used to develop lunches for families.

Later in the month, as the curtain fell on the latest series of Strictly Come Dancing, Elstree Studios managing director Roger Morris said Borehamwood could become its permanent home.

The flagship dance show was transferred to the town while Television Centre at White City was being renovated.

However Mr Morris believed it would be very “tempting” for BBC executives to keep the show where it was, since Elstree's bigger stages could accommodate larger audiences.

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