Cultural village set for Suffolk

A CULTURAL village with a national centre for music and the arts at its heart could be built at Snape Maltings, it can be revealed today. There has been growing concern at the deterioration of some of the historical buildings on the 22-acre site.

A CULTURAL village with a national centre for music and the arts at its heart could be built at Snape Maltings, it can be revealed today.

There has been growing concern at the deterioration of some of the historical buildings on the 22-acre site.

But now the owners are putting the finishing touches to a masterplan for its future - and are set to make a planning application for the first stage of a phased development, which could cost millions of pounds.

According to council sources, the masterplan will put forward the idea of a "cultural village" of a broad mix of activities.


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There will be expanded learning and rehearsal facilities for Aldeburgh Productions, a new Heritage Centre, some extra retail use of some buildings, with the remainder to be turned into homes or accommodation for performers.

The new rehearsal facility will be part of a national Centre of Excellence for Music and Related Arts.

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Aldeburgh Productions are to seek Arts Council funding for this part of the venture and need to submit an application by the spring.

Suffolk Coastal council is expecting to receive the plans by the end of the month and the north area development control sub committee will consider them in March.

Councillors will visit the Maltings - site of the world famous Concert Hall which hosts the Aldeburgh Festival - beforehand.

Head of development and building control Bob Chamberlain said many of the 19th and 20th century maltings buildings on the site were listed for their architectural importance.

He said: "There is some 11,000 sq metres of redundant or unused floorspace on the site, which is some 60 per cent of the total area of buildings on site. "The under-used buildings on site have lacked maintenance and have deteriorated significantly in recent years.

"Many are attached to existing buildings in use, or lie adjacent to public areas where it will be important to prevent further deterioration, as this would have implications for loss of buildings of architectural or historic significance and impact on existing uses on site."

The district council supports the development of Snape Maltings for the arts and tourism, but would also be looking to solve traffic and access problems on the site.

As well as the Concert Hall, the complex - which attract 500,000 visitors per year - includes specialist shops, a tea room, public house and four self-catering cottages.

n. Do you think the cultural village is a good idea? What would you like to see there? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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