Richmond Upon Thames Council has announced that St Mary’s University, Twickenham will take over the management of the Borough’s newest community building.
In 2014 Richmond Council granted Planning Consent for the redevelopment of the Post Office site in Twickenham. As part of the permission, the developers, St James, agreed to build a new Community Building on the Brewery Wharf site – opposite Twickenham Train Station.
The landmark facility, which will be finished this Spring, comprises a theatre space for an audience of nearly 320 people seated, a further six multi-purpose studio rooms, a large conservatory area and various back of house and ancillary rooms.
At last night’s Leaders’ Questiontime event at The Stoop, Lord True announced that subject to final approvals and contracts, it is the Council’s intention to lease the building to St Mary’s University.
The University has been working with the Council to develop a plan that would enable them to use the building for:
- Academic Tuition for St Mary’s students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. Along with training courses for local residents and local businesses
- Room hire for community groups, local residents and local businesses
- A Café in the Conservatory that will be open to the public
- The hosting of local arts, music and literature festival events
- Theatre performances
- Cinema showings, band nights, comedy nights
- Conference and event hire
Members will now discuss the proposal at a Cabinet Meeting in February.
Francis Campbell, Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University, said, “We are delighted to be able to partner with Richmond Council on such an exciting project. I look forward to seeing this facility develop under our leadership and seeing both students and the local community alike enjoy all that it has to offer.
“St Mary’s already welcomes thousands of local residents to our Strawberry Hill campus through our sporting, cultural and education activities. We’re committed to expanding our links with the local community and businesses, and this facility provides a fantastic location in the heart of Twickenham to take that ambition forward, whilst developing more cutting edge teaching facilities for our students.”
Council Leader Lord True, said, “This is an important partnership deal that secures a long-term future for the community building. We will work to ensure wide access, all without any continued revenue costs to the tax payer.
“St Mary’s has a long history of academic excellence and has been based in and contributed to the Borough since 1925. This will be a facility that will not only benefit students, but also the wider community, acknowledging and providing space for, the exceptional arts groups and organisations we have in our borough.“