Corn Exchange future safe - borough

IPSWICH'S Corn Exchange will not succumb to the force of global recession, council bosses stressed today.

IPSWICH'S Corn Exchange will not succumb to the force of global recession, council bosses stressed today.

Arts and culture chief Judy Terry stressed the Corn Exchange would avoid closure despite speculation over its future amid the current world-wide economic crisis.

As revealed in yesterday's Evening Star, the borough council is looking at ways to ease the financial losses sustained in recent times and admitted a review of management arrangements was necessary and that job losses at that level were inevitable.

The review comes after declining usage of the facilities at the Corn Exchange, which boasts a 900-seater Grand Hall as well as the smaller Robert Cross Hall, Limelight bar and Gatsby's.

Mrs Terry hoped money would be available in the future for extensive refurbishment of the listed building but acknowledged that in the meantime the council would be looking at ways to integrate the management of the Corn Exchange with that of the Regent.

She said: “We will look to weather the financial storm by trimming costs and then look to upgrade the interior of the building when the economy and finances allow.

Most Read

“We have to accept that we don't have the money to do it at this time. A million pounds is being spent on the outside of the building and we don't think we'd get a lot of change from a couple of million for the inside.

“The facilities will remain open for anyone who wants to book them and the Hollywood cinema will continue to run as normal but we will be running down the management costs of the Corn Exchange.”

Arts officer Billy Brennan revealed the council has been forced to subsidise ticket sales to the tune of up to �5 a ticket for shows at the Corn Exchange - a figure that until recently could be recouped from bar sales.

“There can be as few as 40 people turn up for an event in the Grand Hall, which should hold up to a thousand. The hall is there to be used but we don't want to be opening all of the building all of the time.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter