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‘Different, but necessary’ – Arts centre reassures audiences following new restrictions

PUBLISHED: 14:52 26 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:52 26 September 2020

The Wells maltings. Picture: Supplied by the Maltings/Sarah Toon Photography

The Wells maltings. Picture: Supplied by the Maltings/Sarah Toon Photography

Sarah Toon Photography

The director of north Norfolk’s landmark arts and cultural centre has assured audiences that new coronavirus restrictions and the arts can work well together.

Inside the Wells maltings. Picture: Supplied by the Maltings/Sarah Toon PhotographyInside the Wells maltings. Picture: Supplied by the Maltings/Sarah Toon Photography

Simon Daykin, the director of Wells Maltings is assuring audiences that stronger Covid-19 safety measures following this week’s announcements from Government won’t detract from the venue’s resolve to offer “a great experience in these uncertain times”.

There have been huge changes to the experience of visiting arts venues and cinemas as a result of new restrictions, but Maltings’ audiences since August have been extremely supportive and very understanding.

The venue, in the heart of Wells-next-the-Sea, celebrated its second birthday in July by reopening cautiously for café business, with its cinema programme following in August.

Covid secure measures across the building have been intensified this week, but Mr Daykin is confident this shouldn’t have to spoil the experience of enjoying film and arts events.

He says: “We have been hit hard by lockdown – as the entire entertainment and hospitality sectors nationally have been.

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“We receive no regular public funding, so we need to be open and trading in order to survive.

“We also recognise how important entertainment and the arts in all their forms are to public wellbeing: and whilst important social interaction is reduced, we have been, and will remain, committed to provide as much of our programme as we possibly can.

“We have experimented with social seating ‘bubbles’ in our auditorium with loose chairs, but from next week will be reinstating our traditional raked seating, which will improve the audience experience still further.

“Face coverings are mandatory, but in these strange times we are all adjusting to that. Live theatre is also not on the cards for us just yet.

“We are dedicated to providing the best possible cultural experience that we physically can, and at a time when it’s most needed.”

Wells Maltings launches its next season of events to December next week, including film, live on screen events, talks and art exhibitions.

To find out more about Wells Maltings, visit: www.wellsmaltings.org.uk


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