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Support floods in for new 4,500-seat entertainment venue in Norwich - despite infrastructure concerns

An artists' impression of how the arena, hotel and civic centre could look

An artists' impression of how the arena, hotel and civic centre could look

Archant

Support for a new 4,500-seat entertainment venue in Norwich has flooded in with excited fans enthused by the prospect of watching acts such as Ed Sheeran, Peter Kaye and Sarah Millican in their home county.

Who would you like to see perform?

Here of just some of the suggestions from our readers for who they would like to see perform:

• Patti Smith

• Brian Wilson

• Peter Kaye

• The Nimmo Twins

• Sarah Millican

• Ed Sheeran

• George Ezra

• One Direction

• Paloma Faith

• Peter Andre

• X-Factor/Britain’s Got Talent auditions

But the ambitious plans have also been met with opposition as some fear the infrastructure surrounding the proposed site on the outskirts of Thorpe St Andrew is unfit.

Although still in its very early stages, the venue could include a 4,500-seat multi-purpose arena, a hotel and a civic centre in a bid to attract major music acts, comedians and exhibitions to East Anglia.

To find out more about the plans and to watch a Mustard TV video about the proposals click here.

Lothbury Investment Management, the owners of Broadland Business Park, Thorpe St Andrew, revealed this week that they were approached by one of the UK’s major arena operators and they are currently working with them with a view to bring the entertainment venue to the park.

The site would be based on the cusp of Chloe Smith’s Norwich North constituency, who praised the initial plans, but warned people to air concerns.

She said: “This could be a positive proposal for Norwich’s cultural life and jobs in the area but I would expect the district council to take a fine-toothed comb to any proposals to consider if it’s right for the area. I would urge anyone living nearby to make sure their views are known to the district council.”

The advice comes amid fears that increased traffic would become a problem.

Lothbury are currently assessing the viability of the development, which is next to the A47 Norwich southern bypass and new Postwick Hub. Land fronting Yarmouth Road has also been identified as a possible site. They are also exploring other complimentary leisure and entertainment opportunities to create a major new leisure district.

• What do you think of the plans? Write to the Letter’s Editor (with full details of name and address) at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

Here’s what you’ve been saying about the plans:

Silver Machine: “A potentially excellent proposal. Obviously a lot hinges on feasibility, but worth looking into the likelihood of making something bigger better.”

K Arms: “What a ridiculous idea. Is this what the Postwick hub is being built for? Madness.”

Mr Mayhem: “Even if we did have a nice new venue, who wants to play or display around here?”

Martin P: “Double the size at least and then you can still have smaller events if needed. I would love this arena to be built as it would bring extra jobs to Thorpe area and hopefully with the leisure building we will have some nice new places to dine and relax the night away.”

Ingo Wagenknecht: “Norwich needs a hall that can hold sporting events as well as concerts – a multi-purpose hall. This is too small and unsustainable and public transport to the business park is virtually nil, not a good idea.”

Oldowl: “This is exciting but I would prefer to see something done with St Andrews Hall or build it on the river down King Street.”

Odget: “The location would be accessible easily and would hopefully cater for the larger bands which Norwich always fails to attract on tour.”

Piranha24: “What impact would this have on other music venues in the city – The Waterfront, UEA LCR, Open, The Garage, Theatre Royal even?”

Che Bramley: “It is time Norwich had its very own music venue, although the capacity is a little on the lowside so will not really cater for bigger bands or comedians. Make it 15,000, then it could be a real asset to Norwich and Norfolk. But realistically 4,500 is about right because of the current state of the road infrastructure and public transport in general.”

D. ROSS: “It’s nothing more than ‘pie in the sky’.”

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