A Brand, not a Cinema
Never let it be said that Croydon Council does not spin anything and everything possible.
The Croydon Cabinet agreed a two-year annual grant deal of £750,000 per year for the Fairfield Halls on 16th May the Council added two unusual grant conditions:
2.3 The following conditions will be applied to this grant aid:
• Provision of an agreed business plan which sets out how revenue
subsidy levels will be minimised.
• A re-branding of the cinema programme to enable continuity of the David
Lean Cinema brand.
It is good that the Council Officers inserted that key word ‘brand’ because it is not a term used by the politicians (Conservatives) running Croydon Council.
It is also amusing to see the other clause. When will this plan be agreed? Will money be handed over before it is ‘agreed’?
It also includes a curious reference to an extra charge of £125,000 this year from the Croydon Council Pension Fund to the Fairfield Halls. The detail of this is missing… However, the impact of this is that it reduces the grant from £750,000 to £625,000 per year. Also missing is how the Fairfield will use this enhanced grant, and also missing is an assessment of the Fairfield’s financial position. The Fairfield, according to the Charities Commission Website made a loss of almost £1million last year.
Will £625,000 be enough to bridge this gap? We very much hope so, but once again this demonstrates that the Council needs to have an Arts strategy for the whole of Croydon and for all arts organisation (both professional and amateur).
If that funding gap ends up being more than £625,000 (excluding the pension roundabout) will the Council bail out the Fairfield? or will it be allowed to collapse?
The Closure of the Clocktower was shocking enough…