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Arts centre plan for ancient chapel

PUBLISHED: 09:11 20 November 2008 | UPDATED: 14:45 14 July 2010

Ambitious plans to turn Wymondham's historic Becket's Chapel into an arts centre are to be given a public airing.

The chapel, for 60 years the town's library, was vacated when the new library opened next to the Central hall in Back Lane.

Ambitious plans to turn Wymondham's historic Becket's Chapel into an arts centre are to be given a public airing.

The chapel, for 60 years the town's library, was vacated when the new library opened next to the Central hall in Back Lane. The Old Grammar School trustees own the building but now have no use for it and have invited offers from organisations which might lease or buy it for an appropriate purpose.

Wymondham Arts Forum is behind the art-centre idea and wants to hear wider views at a meeting on Monday.

The Bridewell Preservation Trust, which successfully rescued the Bridewell in 1994 and has managed the building ever since for community use, is interested in acquiring Becket's Chapel. It has given the Arts Forum's preliminary ideas a sympathetic hearing and it is hoped that this may offer a way forward for the project.

Arts Forum chairman John Wood said: “People are asking what is to happen to the old library building, now empty and a bit forlorn. Becket's Chapel is arguably Wymondham's second most historic building, less than 100 years younger than the abbey and with a beautiful atmospheric interior.

“We believe it would make an excellent home for the arts, as a gallery, workspace and venue for small recitals, drama performances and meetings, and a focus for the many artists living and working in the Wymondham area.”

The Arts Forum meets on Monday in the Town Green Centre at 7.30pm.

Guest speaker will be Nicky Stainton, executive director of Creative Arts East, who will lead a discussion on the theme of An Arts Centre for Wymondham?

For non-members there is a charge of £2 for the meeting.

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