Statement on the closure of the Watermans Arts Centre

As a council we’re committed to supporting a rich cultural offer for the borough, recognising the many benefits arts and culture provide for our diverse communities.  

Published: Thursday, 11th April 2024

The decision to close the Watermans Arts Centre was taken by the Hounslow Arts Trust, a charity which is independent of the Council. Alongside running the arts centre, the Trust provides valued community-based programmes, in particular Creative People and Places. This, along with the events it curates in Bell Square, benefit tens of thousands of residents each year.   

We appreciate the disappointment many people feel about the closure of the Watermans centre. However, like arts and culture organisations across the country, the Trust has been under significant financial pressure due to the Covid pandemic and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis having an impact on box office sales and running costs.   

We understand the Trust could not continue to operate from their current building as the costs were too high and significantly unsustainable. Were they to continue as they were, they report they would have soon become insolvent and stopped operating completely. This would have been a huge loss to the borough.   

We are currently in discussions with the Trust and Arts Council England about how we can support them to carry on providing their popular community-based activities and develop a business model which enables them to become sustainable for the long-term.     

In the meantime, we will explore possible meanwhile uses for the building. We have already received several suggestions from the local community covering different options. There are various matters in relation to the building which we need to clarify before we can fully consider the proposals. This includes the timeframe for the Trust to vacate the building.      

We hope to have a clear process on how we manage proposals soon and will be in contact with all those who have put ideas forward.   

Anyone with a proposal for the building’s use should email  

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