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Essential improvements planned for Haverhill Arts Centre

Haverhill Arts Centre ANL-140721-124935001
Haverhill Arts Centre ANL-140721-124935001

Costings are being explored and technical tests done as part of extensive refurbishments being planned for Haverhill Arts Centre.

Haverhill Town Council has identified a raft of improvements that are required for the centre, including the replacement of aging technical equipment and lighting.

In a report drawn up for councillors at last week’s leisure and community committee meeting, it was pointed out that the house lighting system in the main hall is currently working at less than 50 per cent capacity.

It is more than 20 years old and cannot be repaired so the council is looking to find a suitable system that can provide house lighting and general lighting.

The main auditorium has separate PA systems for live sound and cinema and both parts are beginning to fail, with the current speakers not up to the standard of the digital sound required by the venue, so the council is obtaining quotes to fit an integrated system.

Arts and leisure manager, Nick Keeble, explained: “It’s two pieces of quite specialist equipment, especially the house lighting, that we are looking at.

“So as well as looking at the costings we are having tests done to the sound and having demonstrations because we can buy anything but it needs to be right for what we want and it has to be sympathetic to the building as well.”

Other work is required as part of the refurbishment programme, including replacing furniture in the café, putting in new lighting and installing an area suitable for the internet.

The studio and bar (which has not been decorated for nine years) also need to be refurbished and redecorated.

Proposed upgrades to the studio include installing a fixed projector, sound system and roll down screen.

The cost of the work is not yet known, but the town council has been setting money aside over a period of time and is confident it will cover the final bills.

Town clerk Colin Poole said: “You are probably talking about a jaw-dropping amount of money once it’s done, but when its done it is something that will last us 30 years.”

It is anticipated that all the necessary improvement works, described by Mr Poole as an ‘interesting logistical challenge’ would be carried out while the building is shut in early 2016, before the annual Centre Stage Company pantomime is staged.

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