Stowmarket: Toilet and four fire extinguishers stolen in raid at John Peel Centre

A TOILET and four fire extinguishers were stolen from The John Peel Centre during a burglary.

The arts centre in Stowmarket, which is undergoing the last stage of its �1.3million refurbishment, suffered a blow when thieves targeted the community building.

Police believe the theft took place between 5pm on Wednesday, August 8 and 6.30am the following morning in Church Walk.

But the ceramic toilet and fire extinguishers were later recovered close to the premises, as police believe the offenders were disturbed.

Chairman of the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, Andrew Stringer, said that entry had been gained to the former Corn Exchange via a high window being smashed.

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He said: “People have jumped down a considerable distance. It’s very foolish to break into a building site – it was very reckless. Hopefully it’s an isolated incident.

“We’ve had a massive community involvement and so it’s sad when a very small minority are trying to do the building damage. It has not put the building programme back. At the moment it’s on time, which is important.

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“In all the time we have opened the centre for business, where there has been alcohol sold on the premises, there’s been no trouble at all, it’s sad that it’s happened.”

Last month, the East Anglian Daily Times revealed the arts centre needed �100,000 so it can complete its refurbishment project, which is due to be finish at the end of November.

And now the centre has been boosted by the news that local businesses have come forward and donated �6,000 to the project.

The money comes after Mr Stringer asked for people to help the cause by going on to the John Peel Centre website to sponsor pieces of furniture and features which will be part of the centre.

The team at the Peel Centre are now looking to put on a concert for the official opening the premises. Mr Stringer said he would not yet reveal the names, as it was a ‘closely guarded’ secret.

Mr Stringer also appealed to the public to contact the centre and suggest names of acts who they would like to see play the venue in the future.

To help with the fundraising, go to

If you have any information about the incident in Church Walk, contact police by calling Pc Daniel Cockrill from Stowmarket on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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