Surrey County Cricket Club have successfully completed the deal to purchase the site of the Ovalhouse Theatre and the ‘White House’, across the road from the Kia Oval.
The deal, which enables Ovalhouse to complete their move to new purpose built premises in Brixton, has been worked on for well over a year and is the first time the Club has invested in land outside the historic boundaries of The Oval, which was founded in 1845.
In January 2019, planning permission was successfully obtained for the demolition of the existing theatre building and the conversion of the site into a 95-bed hotel. This remains the plan for the theatre, although the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has delayed the initial manifestation of the project.
The White House – the building next door to Ovalhouse – is a listed building and was the birthplace of the revered Second World War leader, Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery. Plans are being explored for a potential combination of office and residential use.
Richard Thompson, Chairman of Surrey CCC, said: “Securing the ownership of Ovalhouse Theatre has been a priority for the Club since long before the current difficulties that have been exacted upon us and this was probably a once in a generation opportunity to acquire this land.
“I am very pleased that this has now been secured. To purchase a significant block of land outside of The Oval for the first time in 175 years is a historic moment for Surrey CCC and this will now give the club valuable assets to strengthen and develop our commercial income & business further.
“We look forward to developing the site in due course, providing accommodation for the cricket fans and conference guests that we are hugely looking forward to welcoming back to the Kia Oval as soon as we possibly can.”