Q. Who owns the RVH ?
A. The Southborough Town Council (STC)
Q. Why can’t a Charitable Trust be set up to run it.
A. STC have said that it is not possible for a 3rd party to run the RVH because TWBC own the land adjacent to the Theatre and therefore control access to it. They will not allow an arrangement that would formalise rights to a third party and be detremental to their freehold, thereby precluding anyone operating or buying it. This could be overcome with agreement from TWBC.
Q. Why has the RVH not been listed.
A. An applications have been made in the past. Because of the work done between 1974-76 1970’s. Removal of the original decorative victorian wrought iron work from the frontage and other changes has reduced it's architectural appeal. Although English Heritage acknowledge this is a building of historical interest it doesn't satisfy their criteria.
Q. Who was (and still is) responsible for the upkeep of the RVH
A. Southborough Town Council.
Q. STC say closure is purely for financial reasons. STC have to guard Southborough residents money.
A. Absolutely. And maximise revenue from their assets which they have failed to do..We question the numbers that are quoted for "essential structural repairs" The quoted costs have never been tendered for and so the estimate is a guesstimate. Also all works are not essential to re-open the RVH and could be prioritised and programmed over time.
Q.Who voted to close Royal Victoria Hall?
A .It was voted for, with members of the public and press excluded on the 9th September 2014.
Q.What is the public consultation that everyone refers to ?
A. A proposal of 3 Options for the Southborough Hub were presented at the end of 2013 and the residents and stakeholders were asked to vote on which option they preferred. The plans consulted on are here http://www.southboroughtc.kentparishes.gov.uk/UserFiles/file/Development%20Presentation%20031014.pdf
Q. I understood that there was overwhelming support to retain and refurbish / redevelop the RVH
A. This was clear even from the limited responses to the proposals. However it was announced in September 2014 that the "viable option" being pursued requires the demolition of the RVH.
Q. What is being planned in its place ?
A. See the Viability presentation on the STC website attached: scroll down to about page 20 to see what is planned.
Q. What exactly does "mothball" the RVH mean ? What happens to what is inside now?
A Chair of Friends of RVH asked the Chairman of STC about the inventory, the minuted reply was “The Town Council will arrange for an inventory of the contents of the hall to be raised when they were ready to do so”