In 2016, following an invitation from Lewisham Council’s Regeneration Team, Little Nan’s made a bid to take on space in Catford’s Broadway Theatre. We were pleased to accept this invitation and were totally thrilled when we came out on top in the competitive bidding process that followed. From the start we were heartened by the enthusiasm and support shown by both Council Members and officers as we invested time effort and a considerable amount of our money in getting the space in The Broadway Theatre fit for opening.
The invitation and Little Nan’s success in the selection process was based on prior assessment of our night time Deptford operation by Council officers and a very detailed explanation of the Little Nan’s concept at the bid meeting. The nature of our business was very clear from the start and we were viewed to be the sort of venue required to make the day and night time economies of the Town Centre more vibrant, welcoming and inclusive for everyone in the local community. We believe that since opening in early 2017 we have done just that.
Sadly, early last week, through a post on the Council’s website it was made evident to the public that there was a possibility that our licence to operate at the Broadway Theatre was to be revoked. This caused a lot of noise on social media and we were bombarded. The fact is that we were only served the official notice confirming the decision, by the Council’s legal department, the next day and no reasons or explanation were given in it. It is very disappointing and upsetting that we received this treatment.
The support we have had has been fantastic and has really kept us going these past few days in the face of defensive misinformation and untruths put out by Lewisham Council via two different sets of answers to FAQs and a press statement.
We strongly feel that a proper documented discussion with us should have taken place, and then a joint press release issued, clearly stating the reasons of the eviction, and how, Lewisham Council, Broadway Theatre and Little Nan’s are all working together for the greater good of the Catford community, to create safe places for all and positively increasing the daytime and nighttime economy.
We came to Catford with such high hopes and it really grieves us that we now have no option but to make public to our supporters and those given cause to doubt our integrity a feel for the background from our perspective. Unfortunately, for some time and despite our best efforts, we have faced considerable challenges in getting our landlord to fulfil promises made on a number of issues. They have let us down on many of them. We took on the space on the basis that there would be collaboration and communication to enable the theatre and Little Nan’s to operate effectively side by side. Lewisham Council employees have been reluctant to do this. We have documentary evidence to substantiate these claims.
On a more positive note, we welcome the opportunity of holding a meeting with Cllr Brenda Dacres next week to tell her why we wish to remain at the heart of Catford’s regeneration as originally intended and to help find positive solutions to the breakdown of our partnership and the inevitable but not unsurmountable operating difficulties that come with an 80 year old building.
Little Nan’s Broadway Theatre Saloon x
7 August 2018
Local Londoner Sally has started this petition of Love for Little Nan’s.
Please show Catford the Love x https://www.change.org/p/lewisham-council-save-little-nan-s-broadway-theatre-saloon