ORGANISERS at the newly-refurbished John Peel Centre for Creative Arts are expecting it to sell out for its first gig on Friday.

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Volunteers are busy inside the £1.3million venue in Stowmarket this week as they prepare for hundreds of people to come through the doors.

On Friday the ‘Ultrazang’ event will feature five music acts that will showcase a mixture of ska, reggae, folk, pop and rock.

The Stowmarket Lions has also organised a fundraising art show for the centre in March.

Chairman of the John Peel Centre, Andrew Stringer, said it was an “exciting” time for the venue.

He said: “It’s the first of a series of tester events.

“It’s a first chance to get a gauge of what the building is going to do – it’s all very exciting.

“There’s been a lot of people in the building and they are thrilled by how it looks. People cannot wait to get back into the place, we cannot wait to see it all finished. It seems a long time that it’s all been closed off.

“We are predicting it’s going to be a sell out from the early indications. People want us to protect the historic nature of the building without stopping the intimacy of the venue.

“We think we have got the place right; starting Friday the public will decide.”

“Supporting local fundraising groups as well, it’s another direction which the centre wishes to go and we want to be a great place for people to fundraise in.”

A team of 40 volunteers are helping set up the centre, which can support 230 people standing, ready for Friday.

Doors open at 7.30pm on Friday. Tickets are £5.

The acts lined up to perform are seven-piece ska, reggae band Will Tun and the Wasters; pop rock artist Benjamin Bloom; folk act Izzys Daughter; singer songwriter James Morgan and The Garden DJ’s.

The art show will run over the weekend of March 2-3, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-4pm. Admission £1.

The event will raise money for the Peel centre and the Stowmarket Lions.

The venue’s grand opening is expected in March and should feature well-known musical acts.

For more information about the centre go to www.johnpeelcentreforcreativearts.co.uk

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