Theatre Square in Stratford is a vibrant cultural hub for east London. Under cover of the pandemic lockdown, the mayor used legal threats to force out and close down the nationally recognised and funded arts centre at Stratford Circus.
Now the council is tendering for a new management to run it solely as a “Youth Zone” – with no remit or funding for its previous lively range of professional arts.
This attack actually lost the borough £300,000 a year in national funding from Arts Council England - £300,000 that could have been spent on jobs and culture for a community badly hit by the pandemic.
Theatres like Stratford Circus are vital for communities
MU Regional Organiser for London, Jamie Pullman commented on the importance of keeping Stratford Circus in operation:
“The Arts are a fantastic way for young people to have fun and find new ways of expressing themselves, whether that’s through music, drama or dance.
“Taking away opportunities for young people doesn’t only impoverish this generation, but future ones too, as those who are denied chances to try new things now, will be less likely to introduce their own children to them in years to come.
“Theatres like the Stratford Circus are vital for communities, and each one that is allowed to wither and die means fewer opportunities and worse lives for hundreds of people in their local area.”
Find out more about what’s going on, how you can get involved, and sign the petition on Change dot org.