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Wells concert hall appeal raises £1,000 every day since launch

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: October 12, 2012

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An appeal to build a community music and performing arts centre in Wells has raised almost £1,000 a day since its launch.

Wells Cathedral School launched a campaign this spring to build a new £9.4 million centre called Cedars Hall.

Cedars Hall, which will open in the spring 2014, will include a 350-seat recital hall, recording studio and rehearsal rooms.

Wells Cathedral School Foundation, a registered charity, secured £7.4 million in pledges and grants from the Government and foundations before launching the appeal on February 29.

So far £170,000 has been raised for Cedars Hall and the Cedars sport pavilion during the public appeal. A further £1.5 million is needed to hit the target.

The head teacher, Elizabeth Cairncross, said: "We know that arts facilities of this standard are sorely needed in the county and the response to this appeal proves to us that we are on the right track."

The high acoustic standard of the recital hall has caused some challenges for the school as it searches for a contractor who can carry out the work.

"Most concert halls do not have beautifully designed exteriors but are more like concrete bunkers which make the acoustics and soundproofing less challenging," said Mrs Cairncross.

"For us it was imperative to have a beautiful design to suit this extraordinary surroundings of Wells. The exterior of Cedars Hall will be made up of 50 per cent glass with very large windows which acoustics incredibly challenging."

Work was due to start in the summer but has been rescheduled until the autumn to ensure the best contractor is secured.

"We want to ensure that everything with Cedars Hall meets the high standards which we have set. We built some lag factor into the programme so remain on schedule to have the building during the spring of 2014," said Mrs Cairncross.

Construction of the new wall and maintenance gate is complete. Temporary steel gates will be installed next with work beginning on the school's new maintenance building.

Two further planning applications have been submitted for the Cedars project. One encompasses small changes to the exterior finish of Cedars Hall while the second is for a very small increase in size to the maintenance buildings.

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