Sevenoaks Town Council rescues the Stag Theatre and Cinema – for a second time

Sevenoaks Town Council rescues the Stag Theatre and Cinema – for a second time

At the Sevenoaks Town Council Meeting held on 29th June 2020 Town Councillors unanimously voted to provide the Stag Theatre and Cinema with a financial lifeline to enable it to re-open and progress with its Recovery Plan from the impact of COVID 19.

The Mayor, Cllr Nicholas Busvine OBE said “It was a tough two hour meeting – as anyone watching on You Tube will have seen – but I am very glad to say that your Town Council was able to reach a unanimous consensus on a strategy to Save Our Stag. However, this still relies on ongoing participation from the local community.”

In 2008 Sevenoaks Town Council took the bold step to take over the management of Stag using a different business model following its second bankruptcy by other management companies.

The Town Council’s original aims were set out in its 2008 Business Plan and remain the same today:

  1. Assisting the sustainability of the local economy of the town, particularly the night-time economy and tourism economy.
  2. Retaining the valuable social and leisure facility for both performers and audiences
  3. Enabling the development of youth services both in performing arts and youth outreach services.
  4. Retaining an iconic building in the town and preserving the street scene.

An independent charity was subsequently created to operate the Stag and the Town Council supported with an annual grant of £27,000.  Town Councillors, Trustees, Staff, Volunteers, Customers and Local Businesses invested considerable time and effort to make the Stag the success it had become, a vibrant local leisure facility underwriting the local economy. Pre COVID 19 the Stag was 99% grant free and debt free.

Unfortunately, the Stag as per many leisure facilities finances are now critical due to the impact of COVID 19 and social distancing restrictions.

Town Councillors initially considered financially assisting the Stag at a Meeting on 8th June 2020.  At the meeting Town Councillors stated that they wanted to see evidence of public support for the facility both in communications and fundraising.

Three weeks later Town Councillors were delighted to receive 1,600+ emails of support for the Stag and offers of practical help.  In addition, that the public had raised £18,000 to date via the Save Our Stag campaign.

Sevenoaks Town Councillors unanimously voted for the following:

Sevenoaks Town Council is committed to keeping the Stag open and operating for the benefit of the residents of Sevenoaks.  Therefore, Sevenoaks Town Council proposed to help the Stag achieve funding in the current fiscal year, in line with the Stag’s Recovery Plan.  It is the noted that the Stag’s Recovery Plan will develop as circumstances change and will need to demonstrate how the Stag will recover to a viable operation, as follows:

1.      Sevenoaks Town Council will initially grant the Stag £65,000 in line with the request in the Recovery Plan, to cover the first three months of the Stag reopening.

2.      The Stag launches a fundraising appeal, with Sevenoaks Town Council agreeing to match fund up to £60,000 achieved by the Stag.

3.      Sevenoaks Town Council commits to revisit the Stag’s financial situation on a quarterly basis, offering further grants if needed at the same time being mindful that the Town Council’s revenue reserves should not fall to levels which would put at risk its own services to the Town.

4.      A Working Group of 4 Town Councillors and appropriate Town Council and Stag officers to regularly review the financial position of the Stag and its Recovery Plan.

5.      A Working Group of 4 Town Councillors and appropriate Town Council and Stag officers to review alternative governance arrangements to those currently operated.

Members of the public can donate via the Stag’s website

Due to COVID 19 Sevenoaks Town Council has had to hold meetings virtually rather than within the Council Chamber.  For the first time Sevenoaks Town Council streamed its meeting on YouTube which can be viewed at or searching for Sevenoaks Town Council on YouTube.  Over 100 people viewed the meeting live, by the following morning views had risen to 400+.

Linda Larter MBE

Chief Executive / Town Clerk

Press Release issued on 30th June 2020 by Sevenoaks Town Council

Stag Play Your Part - flyer

Save Our Ide Hill Public Conveniences

Ide Hill Public Conveniences consultation:

The Public Convenience With a View


Sundridge with Ide Hill Parish Council Consultation/Survey Ide Hill Public Toilets

Sundridge with Ide Hill Parish Council is seeking the public’s views on its public toilet strategy for Ide Hill Public toilets. As part of the preparation for the strategy, residents and visitors are asked whether the Ide Hill Public toilet facility should be retained or closed and/or redeveloped. The Public Convenience is adjacent to car park by the Ide Hill Community shop and village hall on Wheatsheaf Hill, B2042.

The toilets are used by many walkers and cyclists who visit this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It is literally The Public Convenience with one of the most popular views of the local countryside and Bough Beech Reservoir in the area.

This consultation is taking place on the Parish website at and closes on 31st August 2020. General information can be found here.

To take participate in the consultation regarding the public conveniences at Ide Hill please click on this link below:


Appeal to Save Sevenoaks Stag Theatre

Appeal to Save Sevenoaks Stag Theatre

Appeal to save the Sevenoaks The Stag Theatre. The sad on-going impact of Covid-19. It is 99% grant free & relies on hiring out its facilities to professional and amateur shows, its cinema, donations plus #sponsorship. Sevenoaks Town Councillors will be considering on Monday, June 29 whether it can grant aid to the Stag to provide funding to see it through its current financial difficulties and once again become successful.

See full article in Kent Lives News.


Ide Hill Christmas Craft Fair, 30th November, 2019

Ide Hill Christmas Craft Fair

To be held on Saturday 30th November, 10am – 4pm at the Ide Hill Village Hall (next to the Community Shop)
Lots of local craft stalls, food, refreshments, tombola, raffle, fun for all the family!

Adults £1, Children free.

Consultation on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood

Consultation on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood 

The Clean Air Strategy states that air pollution is the top environmental risk to human health in the UK. We often think of air pollution as being caused by transport or industrial level burning of fossil fuels. The Strategy is clear that we now need to tackle these other sources of air pollution, including emissions caused by heating our homes.
Get involved in the consultation by completing an online survey
NB Survey closes 12 Oct 2018

Stubbs Wood, Kent

Stubbs Wood

Stubbs Wood is situated on top of the Greensand Ridge. It is 38.59 ha (95.36 acres) and owned by the local Parish.

There are excellent views over the Weald of Kent. The photo on the right is a view of Bough Beach Reservoir taken from Stubbs Wood.

Ide Hill Village is within a Conservation Area

Conservation Area

Ide Hill Village is within a Conservation Area. A Conservation Area is an area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which should be preserved or enhanced.

What is an areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs)?

Areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs)*

An area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) is land protected by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW Act). It protects the land to conserve and enhance its natural beauty. The CROW Act sets out the roles and responsibilities that different organisations must follow to manage AONBs. There are 34 AONBs in England.

Under the CROW Act, all decisions must have regard for the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the AONB. Only local authorities or the Secretary of State can give permission for development in, or affecting, an AONB.

Ide Hill is within an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

Ide Hill Village

Ide Hill village lies four miles to the south-west of Sevenoaks at one of the highest points of the Greensand Ridge with views to the south over the Weald and north, over the parent parish of Sundridge and the Holmesdale valley, to the North Downs. It is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.