Beginning of new era for Corn Hall

Final preparations were being made yesterday for the re-launch of a landmark entertainments venue in south Norfolk.A new era for the Diss Corn Hall will begin tonight , which organisers hope will stand the building out as an arts and cultural hub for the Waveney Valley.

A new era for the Diss Corn Hall will begin tonight , which organisers hope will stand the building out as an arts and cultural hub for the Waveney Valley.

The three-day programme of events comes after a charitable trust took over the running of the 19th century hall, in St Nicholas' Street, at the turn of the year.

The management by the Friends of Diss Corn Hall will eventually lead to a major refurbishment of the town hall as a modern entertainments venue.

The re-launch of the community facility will begin with an evening of laughter when the Norwich-based Red Card Comedy Club visits tonight .


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The highlight of the programme will take place when the Corn Hall hosts BBC Radio 4's Any Questions? tomorrow .

The flagship topical programme will be chaired by Eddie Mair and will include former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Tebbit, Guardian columnist Maya Jaggi, Labour MP Diane Abbott, and deputy editor of the Evening Standard Sarah Sands as panellists.

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The three day re-launch will conclude on Saturday with music from some of the hottest young bands from the area, including Vanilla Kick, The BBs and Ed Sheeran.

Angela Sykes, Diss Corn Hall manager, said it was an exciting time in the more than 150 year history of the building.

'We are really pleased with the response to the re-launch. Some things have proved more popular than others and it is a bit of a learning curve to see what works best.'

'We are all concentrating on the next three days, but there are also some really good things coming up later in the month and in March and we are busy planning the programme for April to June,' she said.

Ms Sykes added that Tivetshall St Mary-based microbrewery Buffy's was taking over the running of the bar area and funding bids by owners Diss Town Council and the Friends were being submitted to help pay for the hall's refurbishment and for individual events.

Tickets for the Red Card Comedy Club tonight and the music event on Saturday are still available. Call the box office 01379 652241 or visit www.disscornhall.co.uk for more information.

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