Refurbishment works to improve Thetford’s Carnegie Room for people’s use are completed

The Carnegie Room in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

The Carnegie Room in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy - Credit: Archant

Four years of refurbishment works to improve the experience of users of a Thetford venue have been completed.

Thetford Mayor Denis Crawford outside the Carnegie Room. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

Thetford Mayor Denis Crawford outside the Carnegie Room. Picture: Rebecca Murphy - Credit: Archant

The Carnegie Room is used by a variety of organisations and groups for theatre performances, dance shows and as a party venue.

And to improve the town council-run building's use for such purposes, £125,000 has been spent on renovation works.

New raked seats have been installed, which gives the venue a 300 seat capacity, and new LED lighting and sound systems have been added - ideal for theatrical shows.

A new floor has been laid, the toilets stripped, and a new air conditioning and heating unit has been installed.

The works were funded mainly by the authority's reserve money and a grant was awarded by the Landfill Communities Fund.

David Brooks, venues, events and marketing manager at Thetford Town Council, said: 'I think now we have a got a really good town centre facility which is multifaceted.

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'The main thing we want to get across is that the Carnegie is still here. We have made a lot of refurbishments and I think it has improved it for the better. It is going to be an integral part of the town centre going forward.'

Next year the centre will celebrate its 50th anniversary – a display and exhibit will be set up in the building showing its history.

On the improvement works, town mayor Dennis Crawford said: 'We are a very fast growing town and we need a venue like this to encourage groups in the town to come in and put on shows for us.

'We have some very talented groups and without a venue like this they would not exist.'

The town council will now turn its attention on utilising the Guildhall, one of the town's most iconic buildings.

Disabled access will be improved at the four-roomed building and acoustic problems will be corrected.

Improvements to the exterior of the Grade II listed building will be part of the market place changes - which will include seating areas.

Mr Brooks said: 'We want to make the market place a social place, not just a car park. If we can utilise and refurbish some of the spaces where people can sit, then it becomes more social.'

Craft stallholders have been invited to set up next to the regular market stalls.

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