Woolwich Works: Future gig and show line-up threadbare?

It’s now a few weeks since the new head of Woolwich Works music and cultural venue was asked to answer questions on the venue which has had a troubled start.

An impressive performance was given stating how some events would be held in the short term and they’re hopeful of recovery.

Yet weeks on and the future line-up looks rather threadbare which Greenwich Council spent £43 million on.

There’s certainly some appealing stuff there but compare it to many other venues and there’s really not much on offer for the forthcoming autumn and winter season.

Woolwich Works. Signage has been poor ever since opening

At the recent council scrutiny meeting concerns were raised that out of a £2 million loan given last year due to difficulties, the majority had already been given when it was due to last until 2024.

Paid gigs aren’t everything and hiring the space also plays a key part in revenue. At the meeting it was revealed that £1.2 million annually was expected for building hires. They managed £392k in the first year.

That was now up to £366k in three months this year with an annual forecast of £880k. Getting there but still someway below expectations.

A short stroll from the Elizabeth line, DLR and rail services

It was also revealed that when someone hired the space they were able to manage and retain bar revenue. Now the venue will do so.

There are some promising free events which they’re hoping to exploit and bring people inside to eat and drink. One is a couple of free tours of the site in September.

Another is the Thames Path park run each Saturday was also given as an example they hope to capitalise upon – though the new independent House of Denna café is probably in a better location to capitalise and comes highly recomended.

House of Denna at former café Gusto

Another issue that the venue could improve is advertising its food offering. There’s pretty much no details on the site.

Sample menu? Daily specials? Nothing there to see.

They claim to “serve a small but banging brunch menu” but what? No idea from their own site.

Stage inside venue

As ever when covering the venue there’s plenty of goodwill for it. It can be a massive asset and hopefully proves to be so, but too often basic things aren’t being done well and the lack of future evening events whether it be music, comedy or theatre is a tad worrying.

With £43 million of public money spent then another £2 million loan shortly after opening, there’s plenty riding on it.

 

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

3 thoughts on “Woolwich Works: Future gig and show line-up threadbare?

  • I think they could do with more signage outside. For the uniformed it’s not clear what the building is, and the cafe area is only apparent if you know it’s there. Why don’t they have alfresco eating either, could multiply their table covers and I’m sure it would be popular all year. The riverside is so under-served

    Reply
  • They are doing alfresco now but the wind around there is often quite strong.

    I would visit the works everyday if there was anything worth seeing.
    It’s gone the same way as the majority of the arts world. Ideologically captured.
    This doesn’t make for appealing content.

    Reply
  • The place is rubbish. Boring music, I have seen better live events at the New Cross Inn which is always packed.
    Lesson to be learnt, visit other successful venues. Overpriced, boring and bland. I have seen more excitement at a funeral.

    Reply

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