One of Diss’s most famous landmarks will open its doors after a total renovation next month.
The Grade II listed Corn Hall, built in 1853, will reopen on Tuesday, May 2, after two years of closure and complete refurbishment, with Diss Town Mayor Mike Bardwell performing the official ribbon cutting at 11.30am on Friday, May 5.
The new Corn Hall will have a café open daily, Fredricks at the Corn Hall, a new bar run by Grain Brewery, public toilets, will incorporate Diss’s tourist information centre and will be fully accessible.
The main auditorium, the largest in South Norfolk seating 300, will have a motorised tiered seating system to seat over half a sell-out audience, underfloor heating and much improved acoustics.
Diss Town Mayor Mike Bardwell said: “The Corn Hall is an outstanding facility.
“The restoration of the existing building together with the new modern extension blend perfectly to create a fantastic arts centre, cinema and venue for shows to suit all tastes.
The restoration of the existing building together with the new modern extension blend perfectly to create a fantastic arts centre, cinema and venue for shows to suit all tastesMike Bardwell, Diss Town Mayor
“This is a crucial development in attracting more visitors to the town, ensuring that the towns businesses and shops continue to thrive.
“The Town Council is extremely proud to have played such a significant role in this multi-faceted and important project which will have a long lasting legacy for the benefit of the people of Diss and the wider area and I encourage everyone to come and see the impressive changes.”
The work represents the first phase of the major regeneration project in the Heritage Triangle, which will be completed over the next few months and includes remodelling the streetscape and building a new community garden, and a boardwalk across the Mere. It has been made possible by a grant of £1.87m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £880,000 from Diss Town Council, South Norfolk Council and Norfolk County Council, £125,000 worth of contributions from residents and businesses, as well as other grants from other national and local funders.
Angela Sykes, director of the Corn Hall, added: “The finished result is even better than we could have hoped for and, now that we’ll be open all day, we want everyone to come in and take advantage of all the new facilities on offer.
“Whether it’s during the day to catch a daytime film, to find out more about the history of the area or tourist information, or to pop in for a relaxing coffee or bite of lunch — or in the evening for a drink to enjoy one of our great evening shows — the Corn Hall welcomes you.”