School gets go-ahead for new theatre and 100-seat cinema

A NEW arts centre with a theatre and cinema is to be built in a North Somerset village. Sidcot School in Winscombe has been given planning permission to demolish its current art and drama buildings and create a modern new centre for both the school and th

A NEW arts centre with a theatre and cinema is to be built in a North Somerset village.Sidcot School in Winscombe has been given planning permission to demolish its current art and drama buildings and create a modern new centre for both the school and the village.The new building has been designed with the community in mind and will have a 100-seat cinema and theatre as well as space for exhibitions.The art, music and drama departments will use the new centre and the music block will be 'acoustically insulated' - improving the sound on the inside while making sure the noise does not disturb the neighbours.A planning application was approved at a recent meeting of North Somerset Council's south area committee.Headteacher John Walmsley said in a letter to the authority: "No increase in pupil numbers is planned, this proposed development will allow individual departments to expand their surroundings and better accommodate pupils and equipment."The existing facilities are dated and increasingly cramped. The music school dates back to 1957 and has been upgraded various times but is woefully inadequate."The art department has outgrown its classrooms and part of it is housed in a Portacabin and a couple of metal storage containers."The school is increasingly aware of its position in the community and anticipates the new facilities being made accessible to the local community."The new development will have two performance spaces and an exhibition space."The drama studio will be used as a small and intimate theatre, seating an audience of 100. This could also be used for showing films."The main music rehearsal room will similarly offer performance space suitable for chamber groups or solo performers."The project has been designed with community use in mind, while keeping the rest of the school secure.


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