PLAYHOUSE: The space is inadequate

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The article and editorial supporting the renovation of Alnwick Playhouse was very welcome (Northumberland Gazette, May 3), and I am sure that the many local groups who have made use of the theatre over the years will be helping in the fund-raising needed for this vital work.

However, the ‘certain reservations about the use of the ground-floor space’ will tend to overshadow the projected work.

The idea of a ‘community hub’, where services can be concentrated, may seem like a good use of the space, and Gordon Castle has noted that it has apparently worked in Hexham.

I have no information about the Hexham scheme, or the views of its residents, but I should point out that Hexham is not Alnwick, and the space into which the Playhouse plans hope to squeeze a library, tourist information and council customer services is hopelessly inadequate.

No one I have spoken to can understand the logic of moving the tourist information office from the centre of town, where it is housed in an excellent space in the Market Place, to a small corner of the Playhouse ground floor.

Similarly, Heather Cairns noted recently that customer services needs rooms where people can discuss their needs in privacy. This is not available on the projected plans.

Since the library in Green Batt has now been sold, it would make more sense to relocate it to the entire ground floor in the renovated Playhouse and leave the tourist information and customer services where they are.

I would remind councillors that their task is not to save money, but to spend money wisely.

I trust that some further urgent thought is given to the problem.

Bryan Jackson,

Little Mill Cottages,

Alnwick