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Haverhill Arts Centre puts plans in place to reopen after months of closure




More than six months after it had to close to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic, HaverhillArts Centre is set to open its doors again.

At the Haverhill Town Council arts and leisure committee meeting on September 15 councillors were pleased to approve plans to re-open the building – paying close attention to the current government guidelines.

Nick Keeble, arts and leisure manager for Haverhill Town Council, is busy putting together a season of events for October and November, although an exact date for reopening is not known yet.

Haverhill Arts Centre, which was lit up red in July to highlight the funding issues faced by the UK's live event and entertainment industry, is getting ready to reopen soon
Haverhill Arts Centre, which was lit up red in July to highlight the funding issues faced by the UK's live event and entertainment industry, is getting ready to reopen soon

He said of the reopening plans: “We can’t wait. We’ve had lots of messages of support from our audiences who are seriously bored of the TV and want to see live entertainment in a social – but socially distanced – environment.

“All the staff are keen to welcome our customers back to our lovely building and we are looking at a mix of music, comedy, film and variety performances. Hopefully appealing to as many people as possible.”

He continued: “Obviously, we have had to make a few changes.

The notice that was put up at Haverhill Arts Centre in March. Picture by Steve Barton
The notice that was put up at Haverhill Arts Centre in March. Picture by Steve Barton

“Taking into account the regulations our capacity has been dramatically reduced and so our programme has been pruned.

“Tickets for all events need to be purchased in advance to help with track and trace and seating plans and movement throughout the building will be more restricted than before.

“I encourage everyone to read about all our Covid-safe measures on the arts centre website.

“Overall, this is a really exciting time and I am confident that our customers will work with us to bring safe, socially distanced entertainment back to Haverhill.”

At Monday’s full town council meeting Mr Keeble was asked by Cllr Dave Smith if the Government’s law limiting gatherings to no more than six would affect the plans to reopen the arts centre, which closed to the public in late March because of the lockdown.

Mr Keeble said: “It shouldn’t affect that.

“The way we can handle our booking system is that obviously we can limit it to the rule of six, so that no more than six people can book in any one party, and that will apply to any of the events that we do.”

Full details of the programme will appear on Haverhill Arts Centre’s website .

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