Exeter City Councillor for Duryard, Percy Prowse and Peter Holland, Exeter City Councillor for Pennsylvania, are delighted that Exeter City Council have finally agreed to scope the possibility of providing an entertainment venue for Exeter.
Peter said: ‘When I first took up my role as a City Councillor I sought to represent the views of the residents of Pennsylvania, many of whom asked if the City Council would build a Theatre to host major productions and concerts which were enjoyed by nearby Plymouth. I raised the possibility in Council and my personal views on a theatre were well publicised in the Express and Echo. I met with the then Head of Economy and Tourism whose portfolio included economic development, the arts and cultural activities, to discuss the building of a Theatre. The cost to improve and rebuild the Corn Exchange was in the region of £27.3 million. To my great disappointment, the ruling Labour Group were adamant that a Theatre was not viable and opted instead to build a Leisure Centre.
Senior Labour City Councillors went on record to say: ''That’s why we have supported Exeter City Council in building the business case for a new swimming pool and leisure complex now. And that’s why we have been proud to support the inclusion of a new swimming pool for the city in the manifesto commitments made by Exeter Labour Party in successive local elections. It’s not that we don’t see the benefits that a new theatre could bring to the city centre, but we really can’t support the call for a new theatre without a financially viable case being made''.
''I am enthused by the move from the City Council to work with local residents and businesses to explore ideas for future investment in South Street and the wider West Quarter including options for a new City Centre performance venue. Clearly, common sense has prevailed and we now have a consultation on what may help shape the future of Exeter and make it truly a City of Culture.
I would like to take this opportunity to encourage as many residents to become involved in the debate to ensure that we have a consensus view on what the people want rather than what the ruling group think the people want!’
Percy Prowse & Peter Holland
Exeter Conservative Councillors for Duryard, St.James and Pennsylvania