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Landmark stage in beloved city venue's revamp project as plans are lodged

PUBLISHED: 12:10 22 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:23 22 April 2019

Norwich Arts Centre director Pasco-Q Kevlin. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Norwich Arts Centre director Pasco-Q Kevlin. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

A new bar, lighting rig and sound system have all been included in plans for a major revamp of one of the city's live music venues.

Plans have been submitted for a major revamp of Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Denise BradleyPlans have been submitted for a major revamp of Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Denise Bradley

Norwich Arts Centre has lodged an application with City Hall for an overhaul at the former church on St Benedict's Street.

The renovation has largely been made possible by a £499,999 Arts Council grant, which was awarded to the NAC in October.

Now, the venue - which was named Britain's best small venue by the NME in 2014 - has revealed how it plans to use this money.

The plans will see a total revamp of the venue's mission hall area, brand new lighting and sound systems for the main auditorium and refurbishment done to its toilets.

The mission hall refurbishment will see a new bar installed, improvements to accessibility and a new low-energy lighting scheme introduced.

Meanwhile changes to windows, which will see wooden panels replaced with folding shutters, are hoped to improve natural lighting inside and accentuate architectural features of the historic building.

All of the venue's existing toilets are to be updated, while a current storage area is to be replaced with two additional unisex toilets.

The project will also aim to significantly improve the venue's accessibility, with features including a portable stage lift, a hearing loop system and a quiet area all included.

The venue is also looking to increase its energy efficiency, with a new heating system and the installation of solar panels geared at reducing its carbon footprint.

It is hoped the project can be completed by September 2020 - coinciding with the Arts Centre's 40th anniversary year.

If approved, the first phase of the revamp will be carried out between July and September this year, during which time the venue will be closed.

The final phased will then be done over the same period in 2020.

Pascal-Q Kevlin, the venue's director, said: “We just want to keep doing what we do and improve the experience people have when they come to the venue.

“I'm incredibly excited and slightly nervous as this is a huge project, but we have a great team and have already come a long way.”

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