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Corn Hall culture venue hopes

PUBLISHED: 10:47 18 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:27 12 July 2010

People living in Diss and the surrounding area are to be consulted about an ambitious £1.8m project to overhaul one of the town's most prominent buildings into a thriving arts and cultural venue.

People living in Diss and the surrounding area are to be consulted about an ambitious £1.8m project to overhaul one of the town's most prominent buildings into a thriving arts and cultural venue.

Proposals to revamp the town's Corn Hall would include a theatre, concert hall, cinema and conference centre, along with a regenerated Mere and park area.

The plans took a step forward yesterday after it was announced that an extensive consultation programme involving all sections of the community would be carried out.

Information leaflets will be available in public places such as the library and tourist information centre, and questionnaires will be sent to existing users of the building, potential users, schools and community groups.

An open day is being held on April 17, from 1pm until 5pm, for residents, councillors from neighbouring parishes and districts, community groups and organisations to tour the building, and view drawings which will be on display together with interim results of the completed questionnaires.

There will be an opportunity to comment on the proposals and, from 7pm, Henrietta Boex, from the project management company DeFacto, will give a formal presentation which will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Working-party chairman and town mayor Simon Olander said: “We have an excellent team working together, supported by South Norfolk Council's leisure services. We are making steady progress towards our aim which is to provide a modern, well-equipped venue which will serve as a magnificent cultural centre for Diss and the surrounding villages. We hope as many people as possible will take this opportunity to look over the Corn Hall and attend the presentation.”

The next stage of the project will include preparation of a business plan to provide the basis for applications for development funding, and the setting up of a design team which will liaise with South Norfolk's planning conservation team.

The town council is keen to involve as many partner groups as possible and an approach has been made to the Diss Community Partnership with early negotiations under way for its involvement.

Anyone wishing to complete a questionnaire, either representing a user group or organiser of events, can obtain one by contacting the town council offices at 11 Market Hill, Diss, tel 01379 643848 or from the website www.diss.gov.uk

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