Artrix car park charges come into force tomorrow - The Bromsgrove Standard

Artrix car park charges come into force tomorrow

Tristan Harris 1st Sep, 2019 Updated: 1st Sep, 2019   0

CONTROVERSIAL charges being introduced at Artrix’s car park, which has always been free since the centre opened 14 years ago, are set to come into force tomorrow.

Heart of Worcestershire (HoW) College, which owns the car park, told The Standard in July the move was needed to generate funds amidst a 30 per cent cut in its budget over the last decade.

The fees up until 7pm each day would be comparable to Bromsgrove District Council’s current town centre car parking charges, currently around 80p per hour.

Those who do not comply will face a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £100.

While many people might go to see shows at Artrix in the evenings, there are a variety of sessions which take place during the day and would be affected by the introduction.

A spokesperson for the HoW College said: “Despite the pressures, Heart of Worcestershire College has looked to support the local arts community by giving partners time to look to secure alternative revenue streams before considering applying charges for the use of the College car parks.

“HoW College has to maintain, insure and light these car parks.

“The college needs to secure additional revenues to support its mission to provide high quality technical and vocational education opportunities across Worcestershire.

“Charging the general public to use certain car parks where the college has excess capacity is necessary.

“These charges are aligned to those the local council charges for use of its public car parks.”

Artrix director Angela Galvin said she was concerned about the impact the charges could have on people coming to the centre in the daytime and may lead to a loss in bar profits as some people who turned up early to shows to have a drink beforehand may turn up in time for the show.

But she refused to criticise the college over its plan.

“The college has faced draconian cuts as we have – we have lost £100,000-a-year which we used to receive from the council.

“Sadly nowadays, free parking is the exception, rather than the rule.

“We are confident our programme is exciting enough for people to still want to come here.

“The Bromsgrove community has always supported us and we hope they will still come down when they see what we have planned.”

And she said the college moving its performing arts students from Bromsgrove to Worcester had also hit its revenue stream as it no longer received cash from the college for letting it use the space for lessons, sessions and performances.

Bromsgrove Arts Alive (BAA) has expressed its disappointment at the policy change.

It also appears from the warning signs placed on the car park that there will be no cash payment option available and the only way to pay will be via mobile phone which could impact on older people using the centre.

One user Patrick Murphy, who goes to the centre during the day, told The Standard: “Artrix is the jewel in the crown of Bromsgrove’s entertainment scene and a focal point for senior citizens.

“I go there in the daytime and see how many are there and the pleasure they get.

“We all know how loneliness dogs the older generation these days and this move can only act as a deterrent from getting them out the door and meeting people.

“I can use my mobile to pay for parking but Sid and Doris who are 75 years old and may not even have a phone will not be able to.

“Why can’t they accepting cash payments like every other car park in the district?

“This move can only reduce attendance because it will put some people off.”


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