Fairfield Halls progress update
24/12/2018 22:00:00......Posted by Robert Ward
One my jobs as a councillor is to serve as vice-chair of the Scrutiny Committee. This committee reviews the activities of the council, partner agencies and other related bodies providing services to the public. As such we question Cabinet members on their portfolio and look at projects where the council is involved.
At our last meeting on December 11th 2018 we looked at, amongst other things, progress on the Fairfield Halls. My view, and it is a cross-party one, is that the Fairfield Halls are a crucial part of Croydon's future success so this was an important and interesting meeting. As well as Cabinet members we were able to question the operator, BHLive, on their plans.
Immediately prior to the meeting we were shown around the site. We saw that although the interior still has a lot to be done it appeared to me that the elements that could cause difficulty are largely past. I would be positive about the likelihood of opening on the current timeline which I believe is a handover to the operator BHlive on 1st September 2019 with opening of the entire facility a couple of weeks later.
Big acts book some considerable time in advance. Consequently you will already see that, for example, Jimmy Carr is showing a Fairfield Hall date on November 26th for which you can book tickets already.
BHLive announced at our meeting that their website will launch on January 16th with regular updates as the year progresses. I recommend you look out for that and see what takes your fancy. I for one will be keen to see the venue and enjoy great performances as soon as possible. As Croydonians we should support it, especially in these early days after a major refurbishment.
BHLive did ask politicians and others to be mindful of the potential for negative comments to damage ticket sales. To repeat, all Croydon's politicians are behind the Fairfield Halls as a key part of Croydon's future but part of our job is to ensure public money is wisely spent.
Those questions will be asked because the project is much delayed from its original schedule and costs are likely to have increased. That said, we are now on the home straight of the refurbishment. I for one have already booked my first tickets and am looking forward to the show.