Have your say on turning Sheringham’s Lifeboat Plain into a performance arena

Morris dancers performng at Lifeboat Plain in Sheringham where there are ideas to create an official

Morris dancers performng at Lifeboat Plain in Sheringham where there are ideas to create an official community performance area. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Public views are being sought on turning a Sheringham town centre square into a performance arena.

Lifeboat Plain already hosts events during carnival and the Potty morris dancing festival.

But the town's well-known Shantymen choir, which now runs the neighbouring Oddfellows Hall, wants to explore making the ad hoc venue, located in a natural arena, into a community hub.

Project leader Brian Farrow said: 'We would like to see a permanent or temporary cover for the area - a stage, power, and some traffic control.'

It had the potential for open air events for the town's Little Theatre or the Mo museum next door.

Mr Farrow said initial meetings with councillors, traders and nearby residents supported the scheme - but a public meeting was being called to gauge wider public interest and ideas.

It is being held at Sheringham High School on Wednesday March 25 at 7pm.

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A Shantymen newsletter added: 'There will be many hurdles to overcome, many practical considerations to take account of, a lot of people to be convinced and money to be raised - but you have to start somewhere.'

The Shantymen, who are marking their 25th anniversary this year, have been running the Oddfellows Hall under a licence for a year, and are now posed to sign a more permanent lease on the building.

Mr Farrow said the hall was generating enough income to cover maintenance and some improvements such as new carpeting, windows and internal decoration.

The building is a former lifeboat house dating back to 1867, which was given a £250,000 facelift and new boat-style foyer in 2007 during town regeneration.

It has a range of users from the Shantymen themselves, who use it as a rehearsal headquarters, to spiritualist and yoga groups, along with record sales.

Mr Farrow said they were always keen to attract more users to a building which was in a special setting near the seafront.

Anyone interested in the building, or the Lifeboat Plain project, can email him on brianjfarrow@gmail.com or call 01263 824311 or 07748 641707.

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