New Arts North Norfolk body set to open in empty North Walsham shop

Arts North Norfolk get their new shop in North Walsham ready for opening. Left to right, education p

Arts North Norfolk get their new shop in North Walsham ready for opening. Left to right, education producer Roy Gould, apprentice team assistant Sara Chatten and director Joseph Ballard.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A new north Norfolk arts organisation is set to open its doors in the heart of the community.

Arts North Norfolk get their new shop in North Walsham ready for opening. Education producer Roy Gou

Arts North Norfolk get their new shop in North Walsham ready for opening. Education producer Roy Gould.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Arts North Norfolk (ANN) aims to offer events including music, drama, cinema, art and children's creative classes at venues large and small across the district.

It will operate from the former Dragonfly women's fashion shop at No 1 Market Place, North Walsham, which has been empty for many months.

The charity behind ANN had previously been based at the town's Atrium community arts building, adjoining North Walsham High School.

But The Atrium team decided to re-name themselves and move into the town centre to raise their profile and make it easier for people to find them.


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Heading the new venture will be Joseph Ballard, director of The Atrium for the past two years.

'We hope the footfall will help increase ticket sales and participation in our projects. Our shop front will sell show and film tickets, register participants for projects and classes and will even host smaller events and classes in the shop itself.'

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The £5.3m Atrium, which opened three years ago, will still be used for large arts events – including cinema, concerts and festivals. But the team's autumn and winter programme will include events in North Walsham Library and the town centre.

Sam Robbins, charity chairman, said: 'We are an organisation that has started with the fantastic facility of the Atrium and now it's our chance to grow beyond the walls of the building.'

Mr Ballard said the familiar Atrium staff team would all move over to the new shop and would love to meet new volunteers to cover shifts selling tickets and helping with information and support for events.

The shop is due to open at 10am next Thursday, September 11, and its regular weekly hours will be Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm. Tickets will continue to be on sale at the Market Place Showcase Gallery throughout the week. Mr Ballard said ANN would concentrate its activities in North Walsham for its first year, including involvement in the Christmas lights switch-on celebrations and next year's North Walsham Fun Day. It then planned to spread its wings further afield in north Norfolk.

Among a range of forthcoming events is a Roald Dahl Day, on Saturday September 13 at the Atrium, including a screening of the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at 11am.

The first annual meeting of the Atrium charity will be held at the arts centre, off Spenser Avenue, North Walsham, at 7pm on Friday 26 September.

? For more details, or to get involved, contact Mr Ballard at The Atrium, call 01692 400080 or visit www.theatrium.org.uk

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