Woolwich Works says it has seen ticket sales leap by 70 per cent after the opening of the Elizabeth Line, which stops a few hundred metres from the arts venue.
Slow ticket sales meant Greenwich Council had to make £2 million in loans available to the trust that runs the cultural hub, which cost the town hall over £45 million to build and opened in September 2021.
But the box office has been busier since Woolwich station opened its doors six months ago, according to its chief executive James Heaton.
Woolwich is now just a few minutes away from major interchanges at Whitechapel and Canary Wharf, while the opening of the full line earlier this month means direct trains from Ealing Broadway and as far away as Reading.
TfL says that the Elizabeth Line has been used nearly 70 million times since opening, with about 600,000 journeys made each day. The most popular journeys made all involve Tottenham Court Road station.
“When Woolwich Works was being developed it was predicated on the fact that the Elizabeth Line was coming,” he said.
“Part of what we wanted to do, and what the council wanted to do in putting the money into the project, was reposition Woolwich as a creative hub for all of London.
“So the Elizabeth line has the potential to redraw the boundaries of what we perceive as being central London and for us that means opening up our reach to audiences elsewhere in the east and further into and across the city. There’s just so much potential here and the only thing we were waiting for is an easier way to get here.”
Woolwich Works was told to put on more mainstream programming as part of its loan conditions, while it has also been told to make 1,000 £1 tickets to major shows every year to target those who would not otherwise attend the venue.
There is also now a more concerted effort to promote the presence of the venue, with increased signage in Woolwich and digital screens advertising events. But the money given to Woolwich Works, which went £14 million over its publicised budget, remains controversial within the council, with leader Anthony Okereke refusing a request for an outsider to monitor its finances.
Forthcoming shows include appearances by DJ Spoony; comedian Simon Amstell; Cloudbusting, a Kate Bush tribute band and a jazz reworking of the Radiohead album Kid A. It is also offering Cuban dance classes on Mondays.
The venue is also offering two tickets for the price of one for selected shows as part of a Black Friday deal, which is only valid today,
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