Eye: Doubt over future of newly-opened art centre The Bank

Ian (L to R) Donna-Marie Harvey, Christopher Parr and Rebecca Lyne outside the new arts centre in Ey

Ian (L to R) Donna-Marie Harvey, Christopher Parr and Rebecca Lyne outside the new arts centre in Eye - Credit: Archant

THE future of a newly-opened art centre would be in doubt if its bid to sell alcohol and provide entertainment is turned down.

The Bank art centre in Eye had its grand opening only a matter of days ago but its future is now uncertain.

Eyes Open Community Interest Company, a not-for-profit organisation, runs the centre and has applied for a licence so it can put on performances including plays and live music as well as supply alcohol. But several homeowners and businesses are objecting and have written to Mid Suffolk District Council.

A business owner in the town centre said: “My retail premises enjoy a prominent location and have extremely large windows. Over the years these windows have been vandalised and broken on several occasions by persons under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. I am concerned that I will get repeat problems from this new venue.”

But Donna-Marie Harvey, one of the directors of The Bank said the income generated from having the licence would be vital in ensuring the centre’s survival.

She said: “Everyday we are facing rising costs as a community interest company. There is a fear of losing the building because we will be unable to meet the commercial rent. We have fallen in love with the building and the project and we do not want to let down the volunteers who have helped us.”

Mrs Harvey said one of the team goes out every 30 minutes to check the sound levels.

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Last month the EADT reported similar concerns over the future of Eye Town Hall. The town council is bidding for a licence to sell alcohol for functions and events. But neighbours have concerns the alcohol licence will lead to increased levels of anti-social behaviour.

A Mid Suffolk licensing committee is due to make its decision on The Bank’s application today.

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