Hands off OUR Thameside Complex!
Aug 3, 2021
Thurrock Council have a £34 million black hole in their coffers and are looking at selling the family silver to fill it. I'm sure they see the Thameside Complex as an easy target and one that will put up little resistance. They are wrong!
The council have launched an ill-advised attack on the culture of Thurrock and they are about to be countered on many fronts, by many people and many organisations.
The council have tried to paint the Thameside Theatre as a financial drain and not fit for purpose. If they had invested correctly in the Thameside Complex, it would not be so frail today.
In 2019, the arts and culture industry grew by £390 million in a year and contributed £10.8 BILLION a year to the UK economy.
The sector contributes £2.8 BILLION a year to the treasury via taxation and generates a further £23 BILLION a year and 363,000 jobs.
Productivity in the arts and culture industry between 2009 and 2016 was greater than that of the economy as a whole, with gross value added per worker at £62,000 for arts and culture, compared to £46,000 for the wider UK economy.
Maybe the Tory council should have kept their wallet in their pocket and not shelled out £10 million for a shiny new extension to the Civic Offices. They need to save money in the right places. The arts and culture sector, when correctly supported, can generate a boon to the local economy and be a major employer.
More than just pounds shillings and pence, art and culture are the bedrock of a civilised society. The arts improve well-being and that cannot come with a price tag attached.