THE team at the newly-refurbished John Peel Centre for Creative Arts is celebrating after an “absolutely triumphant” reopening live show.

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A special gig featuring five bands was held at the Stowmarket venue on Friday night to mark the completion of the seven-month renovation of the former Corn Exchange.

Andrew Stringer, chairman of the John Peel Centre committee, said it had been a successful first night – even if the smoke machines had set off the smoke alarms during the show.

He said: “It’s an absolute triumph. In the middle of a recession we have brought a million pounds into the centre and into Stowmarket.

“We always said we would wring every drop out of the money we have been given.

“And we’ve had some wonderful feedback as well, and we really want to make the building as good as possible.

“We are also rather proud of it too.”

The refurbishment has seen a new mezzanine floor installed with a glass viewing area, improved toilet and kitchen facilities and two bars as well as a wooden dance floor with under-floor heating. Every window has also been replaced and the whole building is sound-proofed.

The grand opening will be in March and for more information visit www.johnpeelcentreforcreativearts.co.uk.

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