Approval to build The Hawth was given by the Full Council on 4th April 1986, twenty five years ago. The minutes show that 31 out of 32 councillors were present for the debate.
Councillor Bob Lanzer, Leader of the Council, comments, “There were 22 votes in favour of building The Hawth and 10 of these were from Conservative councillors. Without the Conservative Group, our fabulous theatre would never have been built. Seven Labour members voted against, including some well-known names. Just three of today’s councillors were at that historic meeting – Councillors Sally Blake, Bert Crane and Howard Bloom.”
Twenty Five years on, the now Conservative Crawley Borough Council is proud to ensure the continued success of The Hawth for Crawley people and its many visitors from outside the town. The Full Council of 14th December 2011 approved a 10-year contract with Parkwood Leisure.
Councillor Lenny Walker, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Cultural Services, comments, “This is a really important decision designed to ensure the continued success of The Hawth. Parkwood Leisure is an experienced operator, organising entertainment at numerous venues across the country. The Council has gone through a rigorous procurement process, involving a cross-party working group, to reach this conclusion.
The community ethos of The Hawth will be fully maintained with the Council continuing to set the prices for these activities. As part of its operation, Parkwood have proposed a number of improvements to the catering offer. This is planned to include a combined box office and coffee reception point in the foyer; investment in the Spotlight Room to support additional functions; refurbishing the bar and extending the pre-show menus with more ‘lite-bite’ options.”
As previously committed, The Hawth remains in the ownership of Crawley Borough Council on behalf of the public. This being the case, the Council will continue its own direct investment in The Hawth , just as it does with K2 Crawley.
Councillor Lenny Walker comments, “This contract, as well as securing the future of The Hawth, provides huge savings for local taxpayers. These amount to an average of £253,000 per year for the duration of the contract, and more than £2,500,000 in total. This means that Crawley can continue its practice of protecting other front-line services in a way that few other councils can achieve. It also means that we can free up even more capital for new investment in The Hawth, as will be clear when
the 2012/13 budget is presented to the Full Council on 29th February.”