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Fairfield Halls £36 million revamp plans revealed

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FIRST steps towards the long-awaited refurbishment of Fairfield Halls were announced on Wednesday. Three projects involving the installation of digital cinema equipment in the concert hall, an overhaul of the Arnhem Gallery and the provision of a new studio performance space were unveiled at a party for Fairfield supporters. The previous Conservative-run council was committed to a £36 million revamp of the entertainment complex, including a major overhaul of the concert hall. Simon Thomsett, Fairfield's chief executive, said he had been impressed by the new Labour council's attitude towards the Halls' future. But he said it was important that things did not stand still while the full details of the major work were finalised. Mr Thomsett said: "The biggest risk we have is a long closure. What the new studio and a refurbished Arnhem Gallery will do is give us spaces which can be used while the main work goes on. "In the shorter term both will also provide us with a way of making money." Mr Thomsett would not reveal the total cost of the three projects but said it did run well into six figures, with a large percentage going on the cinema equipment. He said the digital equipment would allow Fairfield to show quality blockbuster films in a top class setting. Mr Thomsett said: "We will be operating in an entirely different market from the David Lean cinema and I am sure the facilities we will have here will enable us to compete with the town's other cinemas." The work on the Arnhem Gallery would, he said, revive a tired building making it more attractive for everything from music and dance events to wedding receptions and banquets. The studio space will be provided in the former Green Room restaurant. Mr Thomsett said: "We will use it for our comedy club and it will also be a fabulous cabaret space." He added he saw Fairfield as part of the regeneration of the town meeting demands from developers that Croydon should provide more than just offices and shops.

Fairfield Halls £36 million revamp plans revealed


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