Steve Hannen – GLL Head of Service said:
“GLL explored a number of alternative venues to accommodate the APA programme whilst the improvements works take place within the Royal Arsenal. This included various venues in Woolwich and the Waterfront Leisure Centre, none of which proved suitable.
It was concluded that the Eltham Centre is the best match for the needs of the Academy as it can cater for the majority of the current programme, it also provides opportunities for the Academy to further grow and develop it in the future.
Our objective has always been to ensure the Academy has a suitable new home for the Autumn term and we are pleased we have been able to achieve this, we do however regret that the relocation will be an inconvenience for some of our users.
Moving forward, we are pleased to inform our Customers that there will also be Academy provision at the New Plumstead Centre so anyone unable to make the move to the Eltham Centre in the short term, will have the opportunity to continue their APA activity when the new Plumstead Centre opens”.
A spokesperson for the Royal Borough of Greenwich said:
“The Council recognises the great grass roots work that the APA does and how well-loved it is. We have been helping GLL to identify suitable accommodation for the APA for some time and we are pleased it has chosen to relocate to The Eltham Centre which is more suitable for its existing and future students. GLL will also have the option of hiring dance studios in Woolwich Works when it opens as the Council is ensuring that 70 per cent of the site is available for community and cultural use at subsidised rates.
“The Council is currently in talks with an internationally renowned dance organisation who is interested in renting The Academy building when it reopens after refurbishment as part of Woolwich Works. Any future tenant for the building is expected to provide a host of community benefits. Our vision is that the dance company would provide opportunities for people young and old that enjoy dance at all levels, as well as offering scholarships to the most talented young dancers in the borough, spring boarding them on to the professional stage, as well discounts on performances for all to watch.
“We feel that what the APA does via GLL in the borough would perfectly complement an international dance school based in Woolwich Works – identifying young people who are capable of taking their skills to the next level.”