The SA State Government has extended the Hopgood Theatre another lifeline

Support for the Hopgood: A large group of people including the City of Onkaparinga Mayor, Erin Thompson (front left) show their support for the Hopgood Theatre. Photo: Katrine Hildyard's Office.
Support for the Hopgood: A large group of people including the City of Onkaparinga Mayor, Erin Thompson (front left) show their support for the Hopgood Theatre. Photo: Katrine Hildyard's Office.

The Hopgood Theatre has secured another lifeline of $50,000, taking it through to mid-2020 but a 13,000 strong petition is pushing for 'forever' funding.

After receiving six-months of funding earlier this year, the Hopgood Theatre has been granted $50,000 from the State Government to help take it through to next June. With a another six-months of funding available after that if it is still required.

The decision by the State Government to extend this funding may be thanks to pressure applied by a petition and protests by Southern Vales residents and Member for Reynell Katrine Hildyard.

Ms Hildyard said the community's relentless campaign to Save the Hopgood has secured further government funding through to June - a step forward made possible because community members, including the 13,000 who signed the petition, continuously spoke out and acted to secure its future.

"Our community resolved at Wednesday's rally to continue campaigning until the Hopgood's long term future is assured - not until June, but forever!" She said.

"The Hopgood Theatre is a much loved community and arts hub. For more than three decades, it has brought individuals, families and our community together. People want the next generation to have the opportunity to develop their skills and confidence, explore their creativity and perform there.

"They also want the arts to be accessible to people living in the south. Our community is outraged that the Marshall Liberal Government has threatened the Theatre's future. They are pleased that they have been given a little more time but are determined to continue campaigning until we know that the Hopgood will always be there for future generations. And that is exactly what we will do."

Upon the State Government delivering the funding Minister for Education John Gardener said as discussions continue between Country Arts SA, TAFE SA and the City of Onkaparinga to find a sustainable operating solution, schools can now have certainty that the events they have organised for 2020 can go ahead as planned.

"As the asset owner, TAFE SA is also committed to continuing to support the theatre's upkeep and operations as part of its 2019-20 operating budget. I am pleased that we have able to deliver this support for schools and the local community," he said.

The theatre is owned by TAFE SA who are currently in discussions with the City of Onkaparinga regarding further funding.

City of Onkaparinga Mayor, Erin Thompson said council is continuing to work hard behind the scenes with all stakeholders, including TAFE SA, exploring every option available to keep the Hopgood Theatre open. Adding that council would be meeting with Education Minister John Gardner to discuss a longer term resolution.

"Council's goal regarding the Hopgood Theatre is to ensure it stays open because it's an integral asset to the community," she said.

"It provides an accessible space for local artists to perform, entertains residents through performances from interstate and abroad, and provides schools with a great local venue."