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Flying start for arts centre

PUBLISHED: 16:16 29 April 2009 | UPDATED: 15:01 14 July 2010

Wymondham's new arts centre in the town's historic Becket's Chapel has got off to a flying start - with 500 visitors in the first eight days.

People have been impressed by the building's calm atmosphere and its suitability, and the opening exhibition by local sculptor and artist Rachael Long has been enthusiastically received.

Wymondham's new arts centre in the town's historic Becket's Chapel has got off to a flying start - with 500 visitors in the first eight days.

People have been impressed by the building's calm atmosphere and its suitability, and the opening exhibition by local sculptor and artist Rachael Long has been enthusiastically received.

It is intended to open the centre seven days a week from 10am-4pm throughout the summer months whenever exhibitions are on show.

A large team of volunteers drawn from arts enthusiasts in the Wymondham area will be stewarding events.

The current show of drawings and sculptures made from reclaimed agricultural machinery continues until Monday.

Wymondham Arts Forum chairman John Wood said: “Becket's Chapel is already doing what we hoped by providing a meeting place for local artists and arts enthusiasts. It will help to raise the profile of the arts in town and is proving to be a big attraction for tourists who pass its door on their way from the Market Cross to the Abbey. The location is ideal.”

Rachael said she was delighted with the interest shown in her work, and particularly pleased with the building as a gallery and a centre for the arts.

“Many friends from the local community drop in for a chat, and we are meeting lots of new people with an interest in the arts. I'm sure Becket's Chapel will become a hub for the lively arts scene which we have here in south Norfolk. It's a very beautiful space,” she said.

The arts forum's primary aim is to ensure the building provides a showcase for a wide range of contemporary art and craftwork by local artists and craftspeople based in south Norfolk and the wider area. It hopes also to see it used as a venue for small scale performances and other arts and community events.

The building has been leased

for six months from owners Wymondham Old Grammar School Foundation, and the forum intends using the time to evaluate the building's potential for longer-term arts use.

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