On 28th June, after 18 months of attempts to clarify our tenure at Phillip Road, Moving Image together with two other users, Colne Bank Dance School and The Hub youth club, were given summary notice to quit by the end of July 2013 by the owners of the building, Essex County Council (ECC).

ECC had already notified us that the main building occupants, the Children’s Support Service School, would relocate to premises at Mile End at the end of the summer term and that the ECC had no further plans to use the building. Until the notice was received they had never indicated that we would be asked to move out and had vaguely implied that there would be on-going use by us. The notice to quit therefore came as a shock.

A concerted protest campaign was immediately launched by the Phillip Road users together with other interested parties including Cllr. Julie Young. The Campaign raised considerable community support both for the current users and more generally in support of the continued use and development of Phillip Road as a dedicated community centre. The campaign efforts, including a petition signed by almost 1000 people, letter writing and positive press and radio coverage, helped to draw from the ECC an apology for the way they handled the situation together with some support for medium term prospects.

However, the ECC continued to insist that they required vacant possession in order to start the statutory process of decommissioning the building as a school under the Academies Act and could not be persuaded to allow us to continue using the building while this necessary process happens. Consequently we had no choice but to move out or risk damage and loss of essential equipment once the building had been locked down.

In the short term, Moving Image has removed all its equipment from Phillip Road to a secure temporary storage and is currently arranging alternative venues to screen films in the autumn.

Our main programme of screenings will take place at the William Loveless Hall on Tuesday evenings starting in early September. Because this is a weekday please note that all performances will start at the slightly earlier time of 7:30pm.

Check out our great new season of films for Autumn 2013 at the William Loveless Hall!

Moving Image and the Phillip Road Centre

Whatever the long term developments for the Phillip Road Centre Moving Image will continue to show feature films here in Wivenhoe.

If you have any queries about Moving Image’s future plans please email: info@movingimage.org.uk

For up to date news on developments at Phillip Road visit: www.philliproadcentre.org Please also add your name to the new mailing list if you are interested in the plan to secure Phillip Road as a dedicated community centre. Moving Image will be one of the many groups involved in this. We encourage all our supporters to join this list to keep informed and get involved. If you have any questions about future plans for Phillip road or want to know how to get involved please email: info@philliproadcentre.org

PS if you haven’t done so already please add your name to the petition http://chn.ge/13gc710 its just twenty-odd short of 1000 so help make it a round thousand.