In 1970, Battersea Town Hall gained Grade II* listed status and in 1974 the building re-opened as a community arts centre run by Wandsworth Borough Council and became known as Battersea Arts Centre. It offered a variety of arts and adult education classes and space for local theatre groups to use for rehearsals and performances.  In 1979, Thatcher was elected and the council decided to close the Arts centre as part of a wide-ranging programme of expenditure cuts. In response to the closure, representatives from the arts world and the local community mounted a major campaign of protest. The campaign was launched by the Friends of Battersea Arts Centre and Battersea’s Labour MP, Martin Linton, which eventually succeeded in keeping BAC open as an independent theatre organisation.