Council chiefs cancel Welwyn Garden City panto

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 July 2013

The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk, last year's Welwyn Garden City pantomime at the Hawthorne Theatre, Campus West

The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk, last year's Welwyn Garden City pantomime at the Hawthorne Theatre, Campus West

Archant

WIDOW Twankey, Cinderella and Dick Whittington will not tread the boards in Welwyn Garden City this year, after council chiefs cancelled the panto.

The annual children’s treat will not go ahead in Campus West due to planned improvements to leisure provision.

Although Christmas may seem a long way off as a heat wave hammers Times Territory, some politicians are rather peeved about Welwyn Hatfield Council’s decision.

Lib Dem group leader Tony Skottowe said: “It’s a little bit disappointing for the kids.

“But if you decided you want to go ahead with refurbishing the centre then at some point you are going to have to close down sections to do some of the work.

“If you delay it costs you in time, but the delay could cost you profits from the new [facilities].”

“It’s a bit like Hobson’s Choice in many ways.”

Roughly £1.2m could be ploughed into leisure facilities at Campus West which is home to a cinema, roller rink, council chamber, meeting rooms and cafe.

Two new cinema screens, an indoor play area and a new cafe may be built.

Senior councillors will discuss the planned works on August 6.

A council spokeswoman said: “A precise date for the commencement of demolition and construction works in parts of the building will not be known before this date.

“Once it is, the scheme of works will be subject to a full procurement and tender evaluation process by the council.

“In view of the lead-in time required for setting up and running a pantomime production, we have decided it would not be prudent to hold a pantomime in 2013 so that we avoid any potential clash with this redevelopment project.”

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