Sir Howard Panter and Dame Rosemary Squire DBE awarded Honorary Freedom of the Borough in Woking
Woking Borough Council has bestowed Honorary Freedom of the Borough upon long-serving members of the community Sir Howard Panter and Dame Rosemary Squire DBE at a Special Meeting of Council held on Thursday 13 June 2019, the first time the honours have been awarded in a decade.
The Freedom of the Borough recognises exceptional contributions, or distinctive service to the Borough by an individual or group of individuals. Sir Howard Panter and Dame Rosemary Squire DBE are key figures in the arts and entertainment industry within the UK and internationally, having co-founded the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd (ATG), the world's number one live-theatre company, and most recently co-founded their newest venture Trafalgar Entertainment.
During the Special Meeting, Mayor of Woking, Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, presented the Freeman's Badge, ceremonial vellum scroll and certificate marking the occasion to Mr. Michael Bullen, Sir Howard Panter and Dame Rosemary Squire DBE. Their names will be inscribed on the Roll of Freemen of the Borough.
Cllr Beryl Hunwicks said: "Freedom of the Borough is an ancient tradition and the highest honour that any Council can bestow and this evening represents an historic moment for the Council. The Honour of Freedom of the Borough is not lightly awarded and signifies the distinguished service these members of our community have given to this Borough.
"And when considering the amount of joy that Sir Howard and Dame Rosemary have brought to members of our community and beyond through their many productions at the New Victoria Theatre, it gives me so much pleasure that we can recognise them in this way."
Sir Howard Panter said: "Thank you to Woking Borough Council and the Woking community for this wonderful recognition, the Honorary Freedom of the Borough. Rosemary and I live in Surrey and have based our work here for over two decades. When we founded Ambassador Theatre Group, the New Victoria Theatre and Ambassadors Cinemas at the Peacocks Centre, they became our very first venues outside London. Woking remains a brilliant platform for our future growth and we look forward to continuing our work alongside this vibrant community."
Dame Rosemary Squire DBE said: "To be bestowed the Honorary Freedom of the Borough by Woking Borough Council is a true honour. Woking Borough is not only our home but also the home to our businesses having spent more than two decades running Ambassador Theatre Group here. We are delighted to be back in Woking with our new venture Trafalgar Entertainment. Thank you to the community who continue to nourish and support us as we continue to create theatrical content for all to enjoy."