Stowmarket: John Peel Centre looks ahead to 2014 after it has 5,500 visitors last year

The Green Fair in the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts held in 2013 The Green Fair in the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts held in 2013

Matt Hunter matt.hunter@archant.co.uk
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
12:00 PM

Art centre bosses are looking forward to bringing a new programme of events to audiences for 2014 after seeing thousands of people come through the venue’s doors since it opened last year.

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The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts, in Stowmarket, officially opened in March when guitarist Wilko Johnson - formerly of rhythm and blues Dr Feelgood - performed in a ceremony.
So far about 5,500 visitors have been entertained by a wide variety of musical and theatrical performers. Former chairman of the centre, Andrew Stringer, who is now one the directors, said that was a “conservative” figure as it only included events which the venue organised itself.

He said: “It’s probably what we expected in terms of the numbers but of course it does fluctuate. We want to put on a large variety of events and some of these take a little time to build a regular audience. Other larger acts sell out within a week.

“It’s all getting interesting really - we are looking forward to the new year with lots of new things coming forward which will hopefully put Stowmarket on the cultural map.

“We will be launching out new year programme in the middle of January. We are really going to be setting our stall out - with the acoustic showcase every month and twice a month we will have local talent playing the centre.”

There will be new film nights and a greater focus on comedy events for 2014 with the centre aiming to provide entertainment almost every weekend.

Over the year organisations like the Lions Club of Stowmarket and District and Stowmarket’s Operatic and Dramatic Society have put on events in the venue. Schools in the town have also been invited to the centre to put on art exhibitions and educational activities.

The centre, which was formerly the town’s Corn Exchange and was named in honour of the late BBC broadcaster John Peel who lived in nearby Great Finborough, received the finishing touches to its £1.3million refurbishment in February last year.
To find out more about the centre go to www.johnpeelcentreforcreativearts.co.uk or call 01449 774678 between 10am-2pm on weekdays.

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