New look for Corn Exchange

A MAJOR regeneration of Stowmarket's Corn Exchange could transform it into one of the town's premier function rooms.Repairs costing a total of £125,000 have already been made to maintain the building, in Church Walk, and a new study is set to determine its future use.

A MAJOR regeneration of Stowmarket's Corn Exchange could transform it into one of the town's premier function rooms.

Repairs costing a total of £125,000 have already been made to maintain the building, in Church Walk, and a new study is set to determine its future use.

Town councillor Marilyn Finbow said: "It's an old building that we're trying to restore and give back to the town for the town's use.

"It could be used as a facility for the arts, music rehearsals and conferences. It will be very attractive when it's finished."

The study, which is being carried out by the town council, will put forward recommendations for the building to make it available for the community.

One of the ideas is to add a first floor balcony area, although no firm decision has been made as yet.

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"It's one of the most important buildings in Stowmarket and it would be nice to put it back into use, said town council clerk Malcolm Baker.

"The council is asking for a feasibility study to be made and we're in the process of finding some money for that."

The town council feels there is a lack of public buildings in Stowmarket that would be able to cater for meetings and events on a large scale.

The Corn Exchange, which dates back to 1835, was last used as a snooker and pool hall in the mid 1990s.

It has stood empty since being purchased by the council for £50,000 in 1995, although work has been done to its windows, brick and woodwork.

Around £67,000 was also spent on improving the roof in 1998.

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