On Wednesday, August 11, we were informed by email that the Bridge Academy Trust had taken the decision to permanently close the Braintree Arts Theatre, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as the cause.

We have been regular patrons at this venue for a few years now and are saddened and perplexed at this decision as are many of our friends.

Other local theatres, notably the Empire Theatre, Halstead, and the Witham Public Hall, which are both run by trust companies, have managed to survive and have a full programme of events booked for the coming months.

Now that we are hopefully emerging from the spectre of lockdowns, the thought of returning to our local theatre for a good night out and meeting up with friends has kept our spirits up.

This is a sad day for Braintree, which has a continually-expanding population and is now left with no theatre.

Couldn’t Braintree Council have stepped in to help, after all they are the ones granting planning permission for more and more houses?

With a full programme of shows and acts booked, and ticket money being paid in we are still at a loss as to why they couldn’t survive.

On April 1, 2021, the Notley High School & Braintree Sixth Form joined the Bridge Academy Trust. Did this change have any influence in the decision to close the theatre?

We have now had to look at other venues in neighbouring towns to enjoy a night at the theatre. Once again, a very sad day for Braintree.

Mr & Mrs D Gleadow

Railway Street