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.
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.
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.
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.
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.