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ACM owner wants Guildford's Electric Theatre to 'remain part of the community'

ACM owner wants Guildford's Electric Theatre to 'remain part of the community'

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:01am 19th November 2015.

It is vital the future of Guildford's Electric Theatre is secured and it remains a part of the community.

That from the owner of the Academy of Contemporary Music, which is said to be in talks to take over the council-run site.

Some are worried the move would mean the end of community theatre in the town.

But Kainne Clements tells Eagle that is not the case: "This is all about a platform for community engagement.

"So it's not the case that we intend to shut up shop and not host any productions, it's the reverse.

"I've said to anybody that wants to come and talk to us on the basis that we can work together, I would be really happy to do that.

"The bare bones of it is for it to continue to be the iconic space it is, but relieve the burden on the community of financing it, it's going to have to be run by someone who knows how to run it.

"In my case, I'm running a not-for-profit organisation which is 20 metres away."

Campaigners get organised

Recently, a Twitter account has been set up with the name Save Electric Theatre.

A petition has also been started, with the heading 'Save Guildford's Electric Theatre - before it's too late!'

Earlier this year Guildford Borough Council set up a group to review the Electric Theatre's future as it looks to save money.

In a statement released at the time it said: "The working group is reviewing The Electric Theatre, its financial situation and assessing various proposals for its future.

"Proposals include considering new ways to utilise the site more effectively, and maximise commercial opportunities.

"This is one of a number of reviews taking place across the council as we are facing an increasingly challenging financial climate and need to identify savings of £5.5m over the next four years.

"We will provide updates on progress and are committed to conducting a full, thorough and fair review."

Earlier this month the council reiterated that no decision has been made.

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