Leamington Lamp team plans for project to shine on with council’s help

Leamington Lamp
Leamington Lamp
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Leamington Lamp’s management team have vowed to make the project shine again after it had to cancel its programme of events at the end of last week.

The arts and entertainment project, a non-profit social enterprise, was told by its landlord Warwick District Council to cease trading at its Adelaide Road venue with immediate effect.

This has affected events including Leamington Comedy Festival and the Leamington Underground Cinema Festival, which will now have to find alternative venues for some shows.

But on Tuesday, after a meeting between Lamp’s management team and Warwick District Council’s deputy chief executive Bill Hunt, the two parties agreed on a statement which said: “The council is not in a position to comment on individual landlord and tenant matters, but can confirm that last week it acted to regularise the legal situation, as a result of which Leamington Lamp Ltd has ceased its operations.

“Further to our meeting, we are working to ensure the educational activities can continue seamlessly and we will be working in partnership with Leamington Lamp to identify a suitable venue that will allow their wider programme of arts, cultural and community activities to continue.”

Lamp opened in February 2013 after the district council paid £90,000 towards renovating and rewiring the former Sea Cadets club building while artistic director Timothy Ellis put £28,000 of his own money towards the work.

The venue, which had a license to serve alcohol and stage live music, had hosted various events including gigs and comedy nights and had a full line-up of shows advertised on its website before the closure.

It will continue to host a GCSE alternative educational programme in the daytime for disadvantaged youths.

At the counci’s request, the Lamp team had made a licensing application to change the use of the site - a former sea cadet club house - which was due to be heard later this month.

But a group of residents living nearby had complained about noise coming from the building, for which funds had been found for soundproofing.

Project co-ordinator Philip Burley said a steering group of supporters is being formed to find a new site and that the team would help to find new venues for the events on its cancelled programme.

He added:“We want to make sure our next arts centre is 100 per cent watertight and a place which puts everyone’s interests at heart.”