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Norden Farm outlines plan for £1.5m improvement works

An arts centre has outlined its plans for a redevelopment project which could cost £1.5million.

Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, in Altwood Road, wants to build three new rooms where it can hold its classes for adults and youth groups.

It currently runs workshops across the centre which offer youngsters the chance to learn skills including filming and creating podcasts, while health and wellbeing classes are also available for adults.

By building specialised rooms for these classes, the centre hopes to free up more space so businesses can hire areas like the Long Barn to boost income.

Artistic director Jane Corry spoke to members and neighbours during a consultation evening on Friday.

She said: “Our workshops and classes are wonderful projects and they’re why we’re here.

“But the fact is, they don’t bring in the dollar.”

She added that creating more space for businesses to hire would allow the centre to thrive.

A feasibility study costing £15,000, paid for by fundraising, has allowed consultants to draw up proposals for the redevelopment.

The plans also propose remodelling the upstairs area above the centre’s box office.

The project is estimated to cost about £1.5million, which will be funded through fund-raising, corporate sources and possibly a grant from the Arts Council.

If planning permission is granted, the centre hopes to start work in 2019, with the redevelopment being completed in 2020.

Matthew Biss, technical manager at Norden Farm, added: “What we’re looking at is what we need in terms of volume and making better use of the space that we’ve got. If we can move these classes to their own space, we can start having room for other activities, one of which is more hires.”

He added: “After being here for 17 years we’ve established that we need these extra spaces to support what we’re currently aiming to do.”

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