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Volunteers’ bid to help Norfolk arts venue boost its popularity

The new entrance to the Corn Hall at Diss after its refurbishment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The new entrance to the Corn Hall at Diss after its refurbishment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

Volunteers have joined the management board of a popular arts venue to help it lead the next phase of its development after a refurbishment.

The main hall in the new-look Corn Hall at Diss after its refurbishment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe main hall in the new-look Corn Hall at Diss after its refurbishment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A multi-million pound renovation to Diss’ Corn Hall was completed earlier this year as part of the ongoing Heritage Triangle project, to revamp the historic centre of the Norfolk market town.

To help it move onto the next stage, five new trustees have been appointed to lead it into the future.

The new trustees are Professor Jill Robinson, Linda Simpson, Nicholas Hales, Philip Hudson and Susan Hughes.

The Corn Hall believes they strengthen the board by bringing financial, educational, management, human resources and fundraising skills.

The new entrance to the Corn Hall at Diss after its refurbishment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe new entrance to the Corn Hall at Diss after its refurbishment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Diss Corn Hall Trust, which manages the venue in St Nicholas Street, will be looking for additional trustees over the next 18 months by a process open to all those who live in the area.

Glynne Lloyd-Davis, chairman of the trust, said: “The trust is a charity set up to provide the best possible arts, heritage and entertainment for the people of Diss and the surrounding area.

“We are tremendously proud of what has been achieved since we started in 2009 and credit goes to the trustees, past and present, and Angela Sykes, the director, and her splendid, hard-working team and our marvellous volunteers.

“But time moves on and it is good practice in charities that trustees serve a limited period, usually about six years.

Angela Sykes, Corn Hall director, with Diss town mayor, Mike Bardwell, right, and Graham Minshull, leader of Diss town council, in the main hall in the new-look Corn Hall after its refurbishment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAngela Sykes, Corn Hall director, with Diss town mayor, Mike Bardwell, right, and Graham Minshull, leader of Diss town council, in the main hall in the new-look Corn Hall after its refurbishment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We are delighted to have appointed five new trustees over the past few months who have brought new skills to the board and reduced its average age.

“Fundraising is particularly important as contrary to popular belief we are not funded by the public purse, although the town council generously contributes 5pc of our running costs.

“Perhaps more important is that the board which was 100pc male is now more evenly balanced.

“We hope to achieve a 50-50 balance between men and women by the end of 2018 and recruit more younger trustees.”

Outgoing trustee Anthony Brice said: “The Corn Hall provides a fantastic resource for our community and now that it has reopened a new era begins with a direction set by a substantially new team of trustees.”

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