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‘It’s coming together’ - Wells Maltings project to mark completion of exterior with ‘topping out’ ceremony

PUBLISHED: 15:04 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:13 07 December 2017

The Wells Maltings logo. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Wells Maltings logo. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

The multi-million pound Wells Maltings development, to create a new arts and cultural centre in the seaside town, has reached a project milestone.

Simon Daykin, general manager of the Wells Maltings, in front of where the extension to the old Maltings is being built. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Simon Daykin, general manager of the Wells Maltings, in front of where the extension to the old Maltings is being built. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The highest point of the structure, will be fixed into place on Tuesday December 12.

And the moment will be marked with a ‘topping out’ ceremony, at 2pm, a tradition which marks the point when the final beam of a structure is lifted into place.

Stakeholders, volunteers and the Wells community will join the Maltings management and contractors Robson Construction for the ceremony.

Maltings manager, Simon Daykin, said: “Topping out is a symbolic moment, and it’s right that we celebrate it with everyone.

Wells maltings in February 1977. Photo: Archant Library Wells maltings in February 1977. Photo: Archant Library

“The project is taking shape. The brand new extension to the original Maltings building is now complete.

“Topping out is a celebration of completing the exterior.”

He described the moment as a major achievement, and said: “The work is advancing at a good pace and internal spaces are now starting to come together.

“Passers-by will notice the differences to the exterior day-by-day.

“Where there were gaps last week; there should be windows next week.

“The key is that we can now start to get the surfaces and the flooring in.

“The Maltings is all about bringing everyone together to enjoy and share, and that’s what we are doing on December 12.”

He added that 60-70 people were expected to attend the ceremony on Tuesday. Weather permitting, it will take place outside, and see a branch of yew placed atop the site.

Work on the refurbishment of the site began in February 2017 and the Wells Maltings Trust, hopes to open the new art, heritage, culture and community site in the spring of 2018.

The £4.8m project has received a £2m grant from Heritage Lottery Fund, which has been matched by partnership funders including Garfield Weston Foundation, Clore Duffield Foundation, Coastal Communities and North Norfolk District Council.

When completed, the centre will feature several spaces for the Wells community to engage with arts and cultural activities in the town, including a cinema, live performance space, art gallery and cafe-bar.

The development will also include a visitor attraction which will celebrate the town’s heritage and history, and host the Wells tourist information centre.

Read more: New Wells Maltings project manager, Simon Daykin, confirms spring opening

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