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Leisure group takes over Crawley’s Hawth theatre

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Leisure centre and sports hall operator Parkwood Leisure has been awarded a ten-year contract to manage the Hawth theatre, Crawley, as the company extends its reach into the culture sector.

Parkwood Leisure’s portfolio includes more than 80 facilities across England and Wales, ranging from swimming pools to ice rinks. It took on the management of the Playhouse Theatre in Weston-super-Mare in April 2011 and has now been awarded the contract to run the Hawth by Crawley Borough Council from February 1.

According to a statement from the company, it will maintain the programme of events in the 855-seat auditorium and the 146-seat studio as well as the restaurant, bars and marquee but will look to develop the facilities.

Andrew Holt, Parkwood’s chief executive, said: “The Parkwood Community Leisure team is committed to working closely with the existing staff at the Hawth Theatre to ensure that this excellent venue continues to provide a first-class programme of performing arts and cultural activities for the local communities within the borough and also the south-east region of the UK.”

According to a statement published by the theatre, the new deal with Parkwood will save taxpayers £2.53 million over the course of the ten-year contract. The theatre’s team will continue to be employed by the council and based at the venue.

Lenny Walker, Crawley Borough Council’s cabinet member for leisure and culture, added: “I’m confident that Parkwood Leisure will provide continued improvements in service quality at the Hawth over the duration of the contract, which new and existing customers will appreciate.”

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