Public have say on what they want to see at improved Desborough Suite

Public have say on what they want to see at improved Desborough Suite

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Holly Rattley

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Public have say on what they want to see at improved Desborough Suite

A public survey has been held to gauge the variety of entertainment residents and workers would want to see at an improved Desborough Suite.

The survey, ran by DJS Research on behalf of the Royal Borough in May and June, asked people in the town centre what gaps they saw in Maidenhead's entertainment market, with 376 people taking part.

The proposals to transform the venue in St Ives Road into a multi-purpose 475-seat theatre with a new foyer, box office, club room, coffee shop, bar and an additional 100-seat theatre for smaller productions were first floated 12 months ago.

Of those taking part in the survey, 46 per cent wanted to see live music performances, 43 per cent wanted food and drink festivals and about a quarter wanted art galleries, exhibitions and community events.

Professional theatre and comedy was wanted by 20 per cent and only one in four said they currently use the town centre to access entertainment.

The steering group behind the project comprises of local art representatives including Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, The Firestation Centre for Arts and Culture in Windsor, Maidenhead Arts Council and Royal Borough council members and officers.

The group said the results of the survey will have a direct influence on the refurbishment of the suite and a second phase of research will take place in September.

Cllr Claire Stretton, deputy cabinet member for culture, said: "The views expressed through public consultation form an integral part of the decision-making process and will influence such decisions as the appointment of architects.

"The information will help ensure that our proposals for the redesign of the Desborough Suite are 'future proofed' and flexible."

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