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John Peel Centre in Stowmarket prepares to officially open new café in Market Place





An iconic music venue is preparing to open the doors of its new café in a Suffolk town centre.

The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts in Stowmarket is partnering with Chocolate Tiger Coffee Company to open 11 Market Place tomorrow from 8.30am.

The town centre building was formerly Natwest which closed in September 2017 and the music venue was handed the keys in October 2022.

Bobby Dolphin, Shelia Ravenscroft and Sarah Wilkin from the John Peel Centre with signwriter Wayne Tanswell. Picture: The John Peel Centre
Bobby Dolphin, Shelia Ravenscroft and Sarah Wilkin from the John Peel Centre with signwriter Wayne Tanswell. Picture: The John Peel Centre
A quote from the legendary BBC radio DJ John Peel sits below the welcome sign. Picture: The John Peel Centre
A quote from the legendary BBC radio DJ John Peel sits below the welcome sign. Picture: The John Peel Centre

The new facility is part of a £46,000 construction which was granted through a partnership with Mid Suffolk District Council.

Family-run business Chocolate Tiger will be serving hot drinks and cakes during the day from 8.30am to 2.30pm before the space is transformed into a bar for the evening serving Ghost Ship and Wild Wave Cider, with local brewery Burnt Mill soon to be on tap.

The launch event will also include live music from noon for the people of Stowmarket to enjoy while walking around Stowmarket Town Council’s market stalls which is part of Foodie Thursdays.

Wayne Tanswell is one of the few remaining traditional signwriters in the country. Picture: The John Peel Centre
Wayne Tanswell is one of the few remaining traditional signwriters in the country. Picture: The John Peel Centre
The venue's box office. Picture: The John Peel Centre
The venue's box office. Picture: The John Peel Centre
Chocolate Tiger will be selling hot drinks and cakes from 8.30am to 2.30pm. Picture: The John Peel Centre
Chocolate Tiger will be selling hot drinks and cakes from 8.30am to 2.30pm. Picture: The John Peel Centre

New signage has been installed by Great Cornard-based sign writer Wayne Tanswell who has worked on many signs around the county including the Cornish Bakery in Bury St Edmunds.

The venue’s box office will also be in the same building and the aim is for customers to stop by for a coffee, take a look at what events are coming up and then buy some tickets.