Energy costs force Watermans arts centre in Brentford to reduce opening hours

Image above: Watermans arts centre in Brentford

Watermans to close on Mondays and Tuesdays 

Watermans arts centre in Brentford has announced it will no longer be open seven days a week because of soaring energy costs. Starting from Monday 17 April the centre will only be open from Wednesday to Sunday, which are its busiest days.

Watermans has faced significant challenges since the Covid pandemic. Being forced to close for extended periods enforce social distancing when it reopened had a significant impact on ticket sales.

Despite the challenges, the centre was able to stay afloat thanks to support from grant funding and donations from members of the public. In October 2022, the centre also increased its parking charges to boost revenue.

Management have described the decision to reduce the centre’s opening hours as “a difficult but necessary” move to ensure it can continue to operate. By focusing on its busiest days, Watermans hopes to maintain its level of service while also reducing its energy costs.

Images above: Live performances currently at Watermans

Other local businesses changing their business model because of rising energy costs

Other local businesses experiencing similar difficulties are changing their business model to try and cope with the cost of living crisis. Riverside Studios in Hammersmith announced it had entered the pre-administration process due to its “eye-watering” energy costs.

Dry cleaners ‘Lapels’ at Strand on the Green have applied to LB Hounslow to change their business into a coffee shop because of the effect of the rise in energy costs on their business.

Watermans has been a significant cultural hub in Brentford for many years, providing a range of events and activities for the local community. People who use the arts centre are waiting to hear what is happening with regard to the centre’s move to a new site on Long Acre, as part of the redevelopment of Brentford town centre.

Images above: Children’s theatre currently at Watermans

“A high-quality year-round programme of cinema, theatre and visual arts events”

Despite the challenges faced by the arts centre, management say they remain committed to providing high-quality cultural experiences for the local community. With its reduced opening hours, Watermans hopes to continue to offer a range of events and activities that showcase the best of Brentford’s arts and culture scene.

In an update to customers it said:

“In the current challenging economic climate Watermans, like a number of other arts venues, is making some temporary changes to the way it operates.

“Watermans remains focused on providing a high-quality year-round programme of cinema, theatre and visual arts events and delivering this with a view to maintaining a healthy and resilient arts charity inspiring the communities it serves.”

Images above: Films showing currently at Watermans

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Sadiq Khan “working on” a rescue for Riverside Studios

See also: Riverside Studios open as usual despite entering pre-administration process

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