E&E Letters | Theatre and pool needed

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25 February 2016

Theatre and pool needed

As Chair of the Theatre for Exeter Group, it’s encouraging to see so many letters in the media and in an on-line petition in support of a new theatre in Exeter.

But a lot of letters are pitching a theatre against a leisure centre/pool, and some are writing off the Nortthcott with one suggesting that it could become student accommodation.

This shouldn’t be an either/or situation.

By 2025, the population of Exeter and the region that uses the city will have almost doubled since the Riverside Leisure Centre was built and more than doubled since the Northcott Theatre opened. So if Exeter now needs both, then both should be researched, and if at all possible, provided.

I presume that the research has been done to prove that a leisure centre/pool is in demand and will be used to its full potential.

The Theatre for Exeter Group’s research makes a compelling case that a new theatre is needed and would be viable, but to be sure, we intend to commission a professional appraisal very soon and we will do this with the support and co-operation of the Northcott, the Bike Shed and [we hope] the City Council.

And this need for a theatre is not because of any failings at the Northcott. On the contrary, the new programming is doing wonder at the box office and the move back into home producing is very welcome.

Surely it makes sense to put Exeter out in front and build a proper sized pool and a larger theatre.

Peter Goodwin
Theatre for Exeter Development Group CIC

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