Stratford-upon-Avon could lose its only fringe theatre if a planning move to turn Cox’s Yard into a hotel gets the go-ahead.
Tread the Boards theatre company have reacted with shock and anger at the news that the brewery, Wells and Co, which runs the site, have put forward a planning application to turn two large warehouses, which includes the Attic Theatre, home to TTB, into a 12-bedroom boutique hotel.
The Herald found out about the plans following Tuesday’s planning consultative committee meeting hosted by Stratford Town Council and delivered the bombshell news to the theatre company.
TTB artistic director John-Robert Partridge said: “It’s difficult to put into words my reaction, I’m still flabbergasted by the whole thing. It feels very disrespectful that we only found out about it because the Herald told us.
“It’s come out of leftfield completely, particularly with what’s going on in the arts world just now and everybody struggling – to not have the support of the place where we’ve been working for 11 years is staggering.”
During the planning meeting the preliminary plans for the hotel were put to the council by Andy Murphy of Stansgate Planning. He said that the brewery had consulted with TTB, which is not the case.
He also described the professional theatre company as “fluid” and a “rather footloose theatre group”, which Mr Partridge blasted as “embarrassing and insulting”.
Speaking to the Herald, Mr Partridge said: “This is going to be the biggest fight to protect a theatre we have built up over 11 years. The disregard in which we are spoken about in this meeting just goes to show Charles Wells and Cox’s Yard have no understanding of what we do and they clearly have no respect for us as a business.
“We have a very important place in the town and we will fight this. Our biggest supporters are our locals.”
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