London’s enigmatic Mayor has spoken out about the troubled situation facing Wilton’s Music Hall and proclaimed it “one of London’s hidden gems which we must keep alive”.
The venue, based in London’s Tower Hamlets, had its £2.25 million application to the Heritage Lottery Fund rejected last month, throwing the future of the music hall venue into turmoil. The grant would have helped fund the approximately £3.5 million of construction work required to secure and stabilise the building.
Johnson said: “Wilton’s Music Hall is a unique part of our cultural heritage. The public response to the funding announcement has been fantastic and we have been speaking to them about what assistance we might be able to offer. We want more people to come forward with the aim of ensuring that Wilton’s will be around for a long time to come.”
Following on from the news of Heritage Lottery Fund’s decision more than two weeks ago, theatre-loving members of the public have donated almost £20,000 to the venue. Wilton’s has additionally secured a £125,000 grant from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts and an anonymous donor has given £25,000.
The director of Wilton’s, Frances Mayhew, said: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our audience when times are tight and the fact that so many hundreds of them have been donating what they can afford to keep us going is just all the proof that we have ever needed that Wilton’s is worth fighting for.”