Stowmarket: Peel Centre needs �100,000 funding boost

THE John Peel Centre for Creative Arts needs �100,000 so it can complete its �1.3million refurbishment project which is due to be finished by December.

The Centre, based in Church Walk, Stowmarket, has closed for the final phase of work which will transform the Corn Exchange building which dates back to the 1870s.

Chairman of the centre, Andrew Stringer, has said he is very confident that they will raise the �100,000 through donations and further grant funding over the summer.

“It’s still not gathered in; we are going out and about in the summer to tell people what we are doing,” said Mr Stringer.

“We will raise the money over the summer period, that should then make sure we will do what we want to do with the building.

“People can sponsor anything – a chair to a lift – if people want to they can look at the website.

“The help that we have had to date has been absolutely brilliant. People have realised that it could be so beneficial not just for Stowmarket but for Suffolk.

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“We are clearing out the remainder of the last event and then off we go, we get building.”

The plans include the installation of a mezzanine floor to provide practice and workshop space, a caf�/bar area and a practice and performance space.

In November, the centre won a �500,000 grant from Biffa, the waste removal company, to help fund the costs of the final stage of work.

Representatives from the centre will take their trailer out on the road this summer, as they head out to Latitude Festival to highlight the work which has been done and the need for people to come forward and donate.

The centre will also help put on the first ever Bacton Festival, which will place on August 4, as part of the village’s Bacton Fayre.

John Peel favourites, Billy Bragg and The Wedding Present have already performed at the centre to sell-out crowds.

The last group of performers to play at the centre before it shut for the refurbishment work to start, was the Stowmarket Chorale, who performed last Saturday.

The group includes John Peel’s widow, Sheila Ravenscroft.

To help with the fundraising go to

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