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TOPIC: A theatre and restaurant in Broomfield House?

A theatre and restaurant in Broomfield House? 28 Sep 2018 19:40 #4080

Simon Broughton Simon Broughton's Avatar Topic Author Online
This message was originally posted in the Intimate Theatre thread and has been moved to create a new discussion thread.

I have lived in Palmers Green since 1991 and Broomfield House has only been a ruin in all that time. Any redevelopment could include a theatre in an ideal place. A restaurant as well with a license not exceeding 10pm would be good too. Does anyone have any other ideas?

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A theatre and restaurant in Broomfield House? 29 Sep 2018 11:41 #4081

I think that including a theatre on site might be a problem given the small footprint of Broomfield House, though there is more space in the stableyard. I have heard that Chickenshed were a possible user before they moved to their site at Oakwood, but I don't know what this entailed.

The 2012 application to the HLF for funds included a café/restaurant, and a room large enough for small weddings on the ground floor (with separated circulation space to avoid having to close of public space when the wedding was happening) and a room on the first floor with a sprung dance floor, big enough to be used as a small cinema.

Our original concept was to develop the stable yard for artists’ studios given that there is a thriving local artistic community and that artists were being priced out of facilities nearer the centre of London. These would be run by a specialist company and might include residential units let to artists on a limited term basis. More recently it was suggested following ideas from Historic England that workshops for restoration specialists which are lacking in London could also be accommodated. There is space for a purpose built single floor unit which could be hired out, and also used by school groups visiting the House and park. However the HLF insisted that we concentrate on the House, which forced us to plan for a schools’ unit on the first floor, which had to include an isolatable toilet block for their use. This would have lost space which could otherwise have been hired out for community or commercial users.

The idea was that though a conventional museum would not be replicated, some space could have been used for temporary displays, and historical information could have been displayed by large digital display screens and hand held devices. The basic concept is that space has to be multifunctional to maximise use and earn money for upkeep.

The stableyard could also have been used for horticultural purposes, and/or house a semi-permanent marquee for slightly larger weddings. The limit on weddings would be set by constraints on parking – we assumed that if the café couldn’t provide sufficient catering, or users wanted to use their own catering this could also be accommodated in the stableyard - these are concepts working successfully elsewhere. From time to time there has been a call for a local register office, which might have been accommodated on site.

These were just ideas, which we had hoped that HLF staff recommended interim funding would have allowed us to develop. Sadly the full HLF board didn’t agree to provide any funds – had they done so how different would the Park look! There were issues to be worked out about management of the rebuilding and restoration process as regards the hand over between the Council as current owners and a new trust set up to own and manage the sites, but this gives an idea of the broad range of thinking.

I attach a scan of a possible floor plan useage for indicative purposes.

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A theatre and restaurant in Broomfield House? 02 Oct 2018 14:48 #4087

Restaurant and theatre sounds FANTASTIC!! Especially given the St Mon's issue.

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A theatre and restaurant in Broomfield House? 02 Oct 2018 16:28 #4088

David Eden wrote: Restaurant and theatre sounds FANTASTIC!! Especially given the St Mon's issue.


I think you've read too much into the headline that I added to this discussion thread. There is no proposal for a theatre or restaurant in Broomfield House - it was just a suggestion made by Simon (see above) and, as Colin has pointed out, a theatre is unlikely to be a practical option. We can only dream though...

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A theatre and restaurant in Broomfield House? 02 Oct 2018 17:18 #4089

It may only be an idea, but it's a bloody good one! Hopefully the new owners won't be encumbered by previous failed ideas or desires.

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