Diss Corn Hall is set to go ‘on tour’ later this year while planned improvements as part of the£3 million Heritage Triangle project take place.
Work on the Corn Hall, which had about 27,000 visitors last year, is set to begin in July, with the hope of being completed by the late summer or early autumn of 2016.
It is expected by 2018, with improvements allowing the facility to be open for longer and seven days a week, 48,000 could visit the historic building each year.
Corn Hall manager Angela Sykes said: “We have had lots of our audience saying ‘what are you going to be doing while you are closed?’
“We have worked hard to develop an audience and we wanted to make sure we continue to provide lots of entertainment for them but also it is a really good opportunity to work with other venues in and around Diss and build relationships.”
The building will be restored, while improvements, such as better acoustics, efficient heating, a refurbished auditorium, a more welcoming box office and foyer, and a redesigned attractive courtyard, will be made.
Regular clubs will continue to operate at other locations, including Diss High School and the town’s rugby club, and the box office will relocate to Designermakers @ 21, in St Nicholas Street, during the works.
Shows part of the Diss Corn Hall on Tour Presents programme include a Summer Garden Party at Bressingham Gardens on July 11, two performances at Fair Green, Diss, on July 19, when Les Enfants Terribles presents The Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie, and DOT Productions brings Northanger Abbey to the garden of The Oaksmere, Brome, on August 9.
David Case, Friends of Diss Corn Hall trustee and member of the Diss Heritage Triangle development team, said: “As far as the Corn Hall goes, the improvements will save it.
“It is a 150-year-old building and not much money has been spent on it in recent years.
“The idea of the Heritage Triangle project is to bring people into the town. 50,000 people a week visit the supermarkets – and half of those don’t cross Victoria Road.
“It is part of an economic regeneration.”
n For tickets for Corn Hall events, call 01379 652241 or visit www.disscornhall.co.uk
n For more on the Heritage Triangle project, see www.heritagetriangle.co.uk