Campaigners to mark loss of the Pavilion

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CAMPAIGNERS will be marking the 10-year anniversary of the destruction of the Pavilion in Hemel Hempstead this morning (Saturday).

A ‘memorial service’ will be held at 11.20am on the site of the entertainment venue, which was knocked down in 2002.

Promises of a replacement – including the creation of a number of designs – never came to fruition and last year it was finally ruled out by the Dacorum Borough Council’s Conservative administration.

Labour Party spokesman Lee Whitehill said: “Dozens of local campaigners will be conducting a memorial service to mark the 10th anniversary of the demolition of the Hemel Hempstead Pavilion.

“The Pavilion was a well known and loved arts and community venue which hosted some of the biggest names in show business.

“It was destroyed in 2002 on the promise that it would be rebuilt.

“Dacorum Borough Council’s most recent regeneration plan has said there will be no new Pavilion.”

Research into attitudes to the town centre, carried out by external consultants JMP for the council last year, shows the Pavilion is still in people’s minds.

The JMP report says: “The closure of the Pavilion was a recurrent issue raised by consultees, with many wishing to see the reinstatement of some form of entertainment venue in the town centre as it is perceived that there is now a distinct lack of activities, particularly for older people.”

Among the comments recorded by the firm was: “We desperately need the return of arts and performance to the town.”

However, council bosses were unswayed by the findings. In December former cabinet member for planning and regeneration at the council Stephen Holmes told the Gazette: “It’s officially off the table.

“Will the council provide? I think the answer has to be: ‘No’.”