Theatre Groups in Soham to Have New £1.9 Million-Pound Venue

PUBLISHED: 09:33 06 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 04 May 2010

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SOHAM S award-winning theatre groups are finally to have a first-class, £1.9million venue to perform in. Soham Village College has put in a planning application for the centre, which will include a theatre, drama and music rehearsal rooms and will be open

SOHAM'S award-winning theatre groups are finally to have a first-class, £1.9million venue to perform in.

Soham Village College has put in a planning application for the centre, which will include a theatre, drama and music rehearsal rooms and will be open for use by Stagechance and Viva theatre groups as well as Soham's primary schools at the Weatheralls and St Andrew's.

The college raised £500,000 from existing funds and the county council will put £1.4million towards the project. It is expected that work will start in 2010, after a tendering process for the building work has been completed.

Village college principal Dr Carin Taylor said: "We are very excited about this project and are impressed by the architect's vision for our performing arts facility. Soham Village College has a strong tradition in arts' provision and are proud to provide a home for Viva, Stagechance and other community users. We hope that our new building will provide an inspiring, high quality environment, in which young people and the wider community can enjoy the performing arts, can learn and can perform in the years ahead."

Former pupil, Viva member and Stagechance director Dan Bell, 17, added: "I'm very much looking forward to performing in the new arts building as it will create a new atmosphere to what we usually are used to working in and boost our standard of productions a lot. It will help us at Stage Chance particularly because it will make the opportunity for the pupils at the college more exciting as they'll get to work in a more professional environment. I'd love to perform in or direct the musical West Side Story once the new facility has opened in 2010 as it's great fun and can include lots of people as well as carrying on the tradition of our annual pantomime."

The college's Beechurst and Lodeside halls, which have been used for Stagechance pantomimes, Viva's award-winning musical theatre performances, and spectacular Village college productions, will continue to be used for assemblies and teaching.

A decision on the planning application will be made by East Cambs District Council by May 8.

INFO: If you have a Soham news story, contact Catherine Atkinson on 01353 667831.

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