Maidstone and The Weald MP, Helen Grant, along with local councillors, Jonathan Purle, Louise Brice and Lottie Parfitt-Reid, welcomed the news that Maidstone Borough Council have now made a commitment to work with the current operators of the Hazlitt Theatre. The council have pledged to support a return to life for the theatre when COVID-19 restrictions allow. Campaigners, including theatre, dance groups, plus local media companies, fought a concerted campaign to ensure members of the council were in no doubt of the strength of local support for the theatre and its value and importance to Maidstone.
Commenting on the news that the Hazlitt Theatre will remain open, Helen Grant MP said:
‘I am so pleased that the doors of the Hazlitt Theatre will once again be open for performances and community groups as soon as Covid restrictions allow. The Hazlitt is at the beating cultural heart of our County Town and its continued presence will perhaps be more important than ever as we rebuild our local economy and community from the Coronavirus crisis in the months ahead. I would like to thank Maidstone Borough Council, Parkwood Leisure and Councillors on the ERL Committee for their diligence and hard work in coming to this very welcome conclusion. I also want to pay tribute to the thousands of people from across our community who joined with me to oppose the theatre’s closure. You have proven what is possible when people come together and campaign for a common cause.’
Conservative Cllr. Jonathan Purle, who led the call-in against the original decision which cast doubt over the theatre's future, said: "This shows why everybody who protested at the original decision - those who signed petitions, lobbied councillors and spoke at meetings - and those councillors who supported our challenge to that decision were right to do so."