Telegraph View: Cards on the table - together

David Walsh Business Round Table with Nancy Fielder
David Walsh Business Round Table with Nancy Fielder

There are options on the table and a discussion is under way. Talks around the Library Theatre are of wider interest than might otherwise have been the case, because of its inextricable link with the Central Library.

If, and this remains a big if, the city’s first five-star hotel opens in the library building, what should happen to the theatre?

There is a much wider debate which this city needs to engage with and that is not campaigning to stop a hotel

There are many who absolutely adore this venue and plenty for whom it was their first, and only, venture onto the stage. I have spoken to some people who think Sheffield has enough theatres, and this particular one should be the least of our worries. Why not, instead, cherish and invest in the smaller venues around the city which are desperately in need of some TLC?

There are plenty of others who would throw their hands up in horror at such an idea, perhaps rightly so.

At this point, the most important thing is that a discussion is now taking place. All opinions can be heard.

We have four views in this week’s Telegraph Voices on pages 6 and 7. Whether you agree with them or vehemently oppose, have your say.

There is a much wider debate which this city needs to engage with and that is not campaigning to stop a hotel.

It is looking at how we can create a better library, art gallery and theatre space - regardless of what happens with the Chinese investors.

What do we do if they want to push ahead and what do we do if they don’t?

We need all ideas on the table and an extra dose of brilliance from Sheffield’s many talented, forward-thinkers wouldn’t go amiss.

We are very unlikely to agree unanimously on any future decision, but an open, honest debate is the first step towards a positive solution.

Over the page Councillor Mary Lea says no decision has been made ‘but we need to look at our options for the future’. I choose to believe her on the first point, and only a fool would disagree with her on the second.