First glimpse of new Suffolk music and entertainment venue

HERE is a sneak preview of a new multi-million-pound public venue which is able to host events from concerts to conferences.

Yesterday, The East Anglian Daily Times was treated to a tour of the Apex, at the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds, by venues director Tony Doherty ahead of it opening to the public tomorrow .

The venue, which cost �18.5million, boasts features such as a movable auditorium floor, which can become completely flat, raked or sunk, as well as rooms with sprung floors which double up as dance studios and conference suites.

The galleried auditorium, which can seat 516 people and is described as an “intimate” space, has custom designed acoustics in the form of special acoustic bricks and roller blinds, and flexible seating which can be moved to different positions.

Other features include a bar and cafe area next to a balcony facing the sunset where performances can also take place, and American white oak in the auditorium.

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Local talent contest BurySOUND tomorrow at 7pm will kick off events at the new borough-council-owned music and entertainment venue, which was designed by Hopkins Architects.

There is also an open weekend event taking place this weekend to give residents and visitors the chance to explore inside and find out more about what it has to offer.

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Speaking yesterday, ahead of finally opening the doors to the public, Mr Doherty described what it felt like.

“For me it’s one of those kinds of things, like when you have wrapped up the Christmas presents for the kids, but you cannot reveal it until Christmas. So on Friday night when we have all the kids here - that’s how it feels.”

Julie Warren, development manager at the Apex, added: “We have all been working incredibly hard and we are really pleased.

“This week is a very busy one for us, but we are just so excited the building’s now going to be open and is an opportunity really to showcase to everyone.”

Borough councillor Lynsey Alexander, cabinet member for arts and culture at the borough council, said there was a “tremendous wow factor” around every corner.

And borough councillor Sara Mildmay-White, cabinet member for asset management at the borough council, added how the venue joined a long line of first class buildings in the borough.

“Its flexible spaces and facilities mean it will be suitable for a huge range of events and activities and I am looking forward to it leading the way in cultural events in East Anglia for years to come.”

The Apex, which was being discussed as a concept about six years ago, The Athenaeum and the Corn Exchange are the public venues in the town, but the borough council is planning to lease the Corn Exchange as it will become surplus to operational use when the Apex opens.

For more information, including on forthcoming events, visit

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