New moves on arts centre plan

A proposal to set up an arts centre in Wymondham's historic Becket's Chapel is moving forward as discussions take place with the trustees responsible for its future.

WYMONDHAM may get an arts centre for the spring and summer if talks about the historic Becket's Chapel are successful.

Wymondham Arts Forum first proposed in March 2005 that the building would be suitable as an arts centre, and has been promoting the idea since then.

Now they are in talks with the The Old Grammar School trustees,

who have welcomed the idea in principle.

The 12th century building

became vacant for the first time in

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60 years when the town's new

library was opened in November last year.

Wymondham Arts Forum chairman John Wood said: "We believe

Becket's Chapel would make

an excellent home for the arts,

as a gallery, work space and venue

for small recitals, drama performances and meetings. It would provide a

focus for the many artists living

and working in the Wymondham

area, and be a valuable addition to

the town's many visitor


"If there is sufficient support we believe this can become a reality, but we first need to assess whether other people share our enthusiasm for the idea."

The proposal gained overwhelming support at a crowded arts

forum meeting, in November, at

which guest speaker Nicky

Stainton, executive director of Creative Arts East, led a discussion on the theme An Arts Centre

for Wymondham?

It was suggested that the arts

forum might rent the building for a six-month period this spring and summer, to try out different

uses, evaluate the possibilities and work up a business plan for longer-term use.

Mr Stainton has joined the

forum's steering group. And Mr Wood added: "It's great to have Nicky's experience and knowledge of the

arts, and to be able to call on the professional services of Wymondham-based Creative Arts East in areas

like evaluation and business


"We have a very enthusiastic

team and expect to enlist more

support from the local arts community."

For more information contact Wymondham Arts Forum chairman John Wood on 01953 602051.