Mitcham is changing. Its proud history has never been in doubt but Mitcham has struggled to put itself on the map of places to go out for the evening. Yet with the opening of Eastfields, new housing developments and the average age falling to under 35 in some wards there is a pent up demand which needs to be met.

Now Mitcham has three major cultural investments in the pipeline and we are on the cusp of turning it from a desert to an oasis of drama, film, music and the arts. First up are Merton Council’s proposals for a cinema on the Sibthorpe Road car park. This could be the first commercial cinema in Mitcham since the 1,500 seater Majestic closed in 1961. More people, more visitors and much more going on in the evening.

Then there are the community’s plans for the old fire station tucked behind the Vestry Hall on Lower Green West.  The building is locally listed and locally loved.

Who doesn’t think a community arts centre would be a better alternative than a drive through McDonalds, Tesco Metro or yet another block of flats?  We are working with the award winning arts charity Theatre6 on plans for a flexible arts and performance space in the old engine house, local café and bar facilities, meeting rooms and the option of start-up space for creative and arts-based business. It needs London Fire Brigade to make the right decision when disposing of the site and Merton Council to back it.  No public money needs to be spent. 

There is also exciting potential in the future of The Canons becoming a cultural centre that draws in people from much further afield. This is the focus of a bid for nearly £4m of investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The plans are still being developed but they are being designed to appeal to local people and to attract visitors from a much wider area.

Within another two years this could all be a reality and Mitcham could have the range of exciting arts and entertainment it needs and deserves. Bring it on!

Tony Burton


Mitcham Cricket Green Community & Heritage