New concert venue opens to the public

A KEY moment in the opening of a new multi-million pound concert venue in Bury St Edmunds took place this weekend.

Members of the public were given their first chance to explore the �18.5million Apex in the Arc shopping centre in the town.

The moment was marked by a newly-installed grand piano being played by St Edmundsbury borough councillor Paul Farmer.

The Apex threw open its doors to give people the chance to explore the concert space, which includes a galleried auditorium with seating for up to 516 people.

The piano, supplied by Rochford Pianos of Woolpit, was played by Mr Farmer – an accomplished pianist – to raise money for St Nicholas Hospice.

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People visiting The Apex, which also features a movable auditorium floor, dance studios and conference suites, said they were impressed with Bury’s new facility.

The Yamaha piano, now at the centre of the auditorium, was the one played by Rick Wakeman at St Mary’s Church, Bury, earlier this year before it was installed at The Apex on Wednesday.

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Dominic Rochford, owner of Rochford Pianos, said the arrival of the piano was a significant moment for the Apex, standing at its heart and bringing the venue to life. St Edmundsbury Borough Council is now planning to lease the town’s Corn Exchange as it will be surplus to operational use once the Apex is up and running.

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