On 4 July a 5,200 signature strong petition against proposals to convert The Public into a Sixth Form College was delivered to Sandwell Council. It will now be taken to Full Council where there will be a formal debate (next meeting 30 July).
I was born and raised in West Bromwich but moved away before the Public opened...I now live in Manchester and my colleague at work told me how she'd visited the Public a few weeks ago and was devastated to learn it could be closing - yes that's right, my colleague from Manchester!!! You have no idea how great this place is - she travelled on coach for three hours to visit it. Need I say more?
Its a brilliant idea for this building to become part of the college as although people see there are some things they enjoy being put on its still being highly subsidised by the council while other services suffer.
There is no other place like The Public, the money is spent let us enjoy it. I attend the Tea Dances, bring groups of adults, comes with friends and their grand children. The shopping precinct will be opening in the next few months, this will increase the footfall.
I'm sure The Public was designed with the assumption that the precinct would already be in place,
The Public is a great building peoples art work, dance drama performances should be displayed I think its fab!
The Public is a fantastic facility for Sandwell and adjoining areas. For younger children it is a fantastic resource, child friendly and great for experiential learning. Our family has visited several events over the past few years which we have thoroughly enjoyed.
However, I believe there is a compromise, as the Public needs the revenue funding and it is a very spacious building and perhaps in the day time, part of the space (such as the third floor space which is always empty) could be used by the college. The Theatre space is not used in the day time either and it would be great if this could be better used. Perhaps the College could move their Performing Arts, Fashion and Visual Arts Departments into the Public, which would be fantastic (similar to what BMET College has done at Millennium Point). This would compliment the Public as an Arts facility and bring in young people in the day time. On the weekends and evenings and during holidays, the facilities should be open to the general public as it is now. The Public has been an anchor and catalyst for the regeneration of West Brom and one of the only iconic buildings that we have. Let's celebrate this fantastic resource and stop criticising.
The theatre is, in fact, used in the daytime. To my knowledge it is used by the Sandwell U3A and also for things such as Pantomime and possibly other stuff I know not of.
The Public is an exceptional venue to play within the West Midlands and the rest of the UK. As a local musician, the Public has become our Wembley stadium gig, but moreover a venue and an experience that is increasingly valued and loved by the public of Sandwell. I too was a sceptical as the next council paying citizen of West Bromwich when the Public first came to being, but it is here now and growing into a unique and bespoke resource in Sandwell. The building and what it can offer is growing and so is it,s reputation. When we performed there in May Sandwell Arts Trust put on a free concert and it was well received by a few hundred people, literally from 8 to 80. If we loose this facility West Bromwich will have nothing to build and sustain the arts in the local community in such an iconic space. It's called The Public for a reason. Listen to them please.
When the public was first built I was dead against it and believed it a great waste of money which could have been better spent to benefit the community BUT after taking my grandchildren to many of the activities and regularly having lunch there as a family I love it!!! Hands off college! Leave something for the rest of us to enjoy!
The Public is a fantastic facility with a brilliant vibe and true accessibility. So many of those who slate it have never set foot in it and most that do I'm sure would change their minds. This is a BENEFIT to Sandwell and it's surrounding areas and should be protected. STOP GETTING RID OF THE GOOD STUFF!!!
Towns like West Bromwich and others need facilities like this, otherwise what else is there to do to enjoy the events held here but to go to Birmingham? Are our local politicians not aware that they need to be attracting people into the town which they are supposed to represent?
There was research in Birmingham that showed for every £1.00 spent on the Arts, £5.00 was made through sales and transport and so on. Has a similar study been made in West Brom. That The Public should be closed just as the New Square comes to completion makes no sense. The Arts are an important consideration in our society, more so than ever now.
This is the one of a few place of real class and culture in West Bromwich...I always feel really proud to take my out of town friends and family relatives to the Public please ensure that you keep the community at the heart and centre of what you do as it seems no matter what there will be changes/
This building is for the public and is a massive benefit to the community. How can we expect to build a nice town centre and have a base for local arts if it gets annexed by the college?
This amazing building and museum is a great place to show off and learn about art, it is truly ahead of its time for local showmanship. It is the pinical of the local area and should not be changed. It shows off local art of so many forms. I have introduced sevral people to this place and all have come away gobsmacked...... We love it... dont loose it...
as my image is on display really big, (no lie) on the public and Ive participated in the actives and really enjoined it, i really don't want it to close and the fact that i come regularly.
PS. can i please have the pic of my public photo back if it closes :)
The Public provides true access to arts in all its forms and represents the best in creativity for this region. If we lose the public as a premier arts space it will be more than just a travesty for the residents of Sandwell - this will be a blow to arts and creativity for the entire West Midlands region - and a massive missed opportunity to shine a light on the creative people and industries that we have here in the heart of the country.
There is a need for this not only in West Bromwich, but in Sandwell. Whilst I do think that certain aspects of the Public could be tweaked, such as making the theatre/arena area bigger to get more seating to attract better known artists to the venue. However, by and large the Public should be left in its current form. I think that by closing or reusing the building would not only cost more in refurb costs, but would also be a hugely wasted opportunity for the borough.
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A charity set up to manage The Public
A Company Limited by Guarantee, Registration: England & Wales 06940284
A Registered Charity England and Wales Registered Number 1137111
Registered Offices: Castlemill, Burnt Tree, Tipton, West Midlands, DY4 7UF
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