Arts centre in £100k cash plea

THE John Peel Centre for Creative Arts is closing until Christmas to complete a £1million refit – but needs to raise an extra £100,000 to complete the work.

Refurbishment work is due to begin at the former Corn Exchange building next week, following design plans by Matthew Loosley, an architecture student from Stowupland, who won a competition to design the inside of the building.

The centre, in Stowmarket, is to be fitted with underfloor heating, a dance floor, bar, dramatic stage lighting and a mezzanine floor.

Andrew Stringer, a director at the centre, said they planned to raise the extra £100,000 needed to complete the work by asking people and businesses in the area to sponsor parts of the refurbishment.

He said: “For the whole refit we are looking at around £1 million to complete but we still haven’t quite got all the money we need for the build.

“In the summer we are opening a sponsorship programme where individual companies or people can sponsor anything they like.

“For example, we have just had sponsorship from a sign-writing company for our brand new sign that will go on the front of the building.

“We probably need, to achieve our dream, about £100,000 in sponsorship between now and Christmas. We have been very surprised and overwhelmed by the support we have got already.”

But Andrew remains realistic about the project, saying there may be a need for a back-up plan.

He said: “If we cannot raise all the money there are some items we will have to not put in.”

As well as approaching local businesses for sponsorship, the centre also aims to raise money for the building project by setting up stalls at Suffolk events including Latitude Festival and at Bacton Flower show.

To find out more on sponsoring the centre, visit www.johnpeelcentreforcreativearts.co.uk