Extended opening for Aylesbury Civic Centre
Archived press release
Date Published: 12/03/08
Aylesbury Civic Centre will stay open until at least the end of February 2009, Aylesbury Vale District Council has announced.
Originally the town centre venue was due to close on 31 July to allow work to start on the Waterside retail scheme. However, the closure date can now be pushed back to next year because a planning application for the development is not expected until the summer.
There’s a great line up of acts appearing at the centre during the next few months including Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra on 8 May; top comedian Dara O’Briain (Mock the Week) on 17 April and Alabama 3 on 28 April.
This year’s family pantomime has already been confirmed as Cinderella and there will be a New Years’ Eve party event to see out 2008.
Members of the public will be able to continue to hire the venue’s conference facilities and the Civic Centre car park will remain open. The council will be contacting regular users of the centre to inform them of the new closure plans.
Councillor John Cartwright, Leader of the Council, said: “We have worked closely with Warner Estate, the developers of the Waterside shopping scheme, in taking this decision to extend the life of the Civic Centre. The extended period will allow us to provide a fantastic range of events to give the centre a fitting farewell. Warner Estate continues to work on the detailed plans and designs for the retail development and we are confident that a planning application will be submitted in the summer.”
The Civic Centre is a key site within the proposed multi-million pound Waterside development and
it will be replaced by a new state-of-the-art theatre currently being built in Exchange Street. This venue is being scheduled to be completed in late 2009.
The new theatre will be bigger than the Civic Centre and will offer more flexibility for users. It will have a 1,200-seat auditorium that converts into a 1,800-capacity hall, and a 220-seat suite for smaller events including dance, drama, meetings and conferences.
Extending the life of the Civic Centre will reduce the period between the venue closing and the new theatre opening. The council previously agreed that the gap would not exceed 103 weeks but if the Civic Centre closes in February 2009, this estimate reduces to around 52 weeks.
The council’s leisure team will be looking for potential venues in and around Aylesbury that can be used during the period that the Civic Centre closes and the new theatre opens. Officers will be developing a list of venues, with hire costs and availability, to help those groups who will be temporarily displaced. They range from small groups needing meeting rooms to larger venues suitable for dinner dances and concerts.
For information on events at the Civic Centre, visit the website at www.aylesburycivic.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01296 486009.
- Ends -
Notes to editors:
This decision is subject to call-in. Any requests for call-in must be received by the Head of Administration by 5pm on 20 March.
The Civic Centre – which was opened by the then chairman of the district council, Councillor Tony Mogford, on September 2, 1975 – has enjoyed a rich and colourful history. David Bowie, The Police, Genesis, Dire Straits and Norman Wisdom are just some of the famous names who have performed at the venue over the past 33 years.
For interviews, please contact:
• Councillor John Cartwright, Leader of the Council, 01296 585710
• Matthew Partridge, Head of Leisure and Cultural Services, 01296 585181