A theatre in Greenwich has made an agreement with the council which will allow it to continue running for the next 24 years.

Greenwich Theatre Ltd has signed a long lease with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, marking a crucial moment in the venue's history.

Despite current challenges in the arts sector, including reduced budget and funding cuts across the country, the arrangement with the council provides the theatre company with stability for the next two decades.

The agreement provides security of tenure on 'peppercorn rent' - very low rent -roughly amounting to £2 million in rent relief over the lease period.

In return, Greenwich Theatre, which operates as a registered charity, will continue to carry out engagement and outreach activities with the local community.

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These include school programmes, festival events, and subsidised ticket price initiatives, which run alongside its nationally recognised programme of in-house productions, emerging artist support, and family theatre.

The company’s annual pantomime is often praised as one of the top traditional pantomimes in the country.

It manages to provide over 10,000 subsidised children’s tickets for the show each year.

The 2023-24 production of Snow White earned three Offie nominations, and planning is in progress for the 2024-25 production of ‘Dick Whittington and his Cat’ by Anthony Spargo.

This renewed commitment from the council provides Greenwich Theatre with a more security to start a long-term fundraising programme.

This will support improvements to the theatre's building in Crooms Hill and allow for the expansion of its activities.

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Nigel Fletcher, Chair of Trustees, said: "This agreement marks the start of an exciting new era for Greenwich Theatre, and a new relationship with the Royal Borough.

"I look forward to working with our dedicated staff, supporters and local people across Greenwich as we secure the theatre’s place at the heart of the community for many years to come."

James Haddrell, the theatre's Artistic Director, said: "This marks the culmination of years of work by our small and incredibly dedicated staff team and represents the latest stage in the development of the company.

"With the lease in place we can now look beyond the immediate future and start to make some major long-term plans."

Councillor Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Equality, Culture and Communities, said: "The Greenwich Theatre has a long history hosting live entertainment in the Royal Borough of Greenwich to audiences of all ages and plays an important role not just in our local economy, but as part of our community.

"Renewing this lease with Greenwich Theatre helps ensure we have a strong voluntary and community sector in Royal Greenwich that enhances our town centres and high streets to create vibrant, inclusive and healthy communities, where our residents and businesses can flourish.”