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Plan to improve Cromer Pavilion Theatre

PUBLISHED: 19:40 06 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:54 13 July 2010

Cromer's popular seaside theatre could be getting a "cool" new attraction that will earn a round of applause from long-suffering audiences.

For talks are under way over installing air conditioning at the Pier Pavilion following customer concerns about stifling conditions during summer shows.

Cromer's popular seaside theatre could be getting a “cool” new attraction that will earn a round of applause from long-suffering audiences.

For talks are under way over installing air conditioning at the Pier Pavilion following customer concerns about stifling conditions during summer shows.

Windcatchers installed when the theatre was expanded and revamped during a £2.5m seafront regeneration scheme five years ago have “not proved effective” says a report to councillors.

On still summer days conditions in the auditorium become uncomfortably warm, particularly during matinee performances, while the theatre can also be too cold during the new Christmas seaside special shows.

North Norfolk District Council says it has no spare funding for heating or ventilation improvements, which are likely to cost more than £75,000. But they are in talks with pier operators Openwide International, who have said they might be prepared to pay for them, along with upgrading the stage lighting and sound systems.

The negotiations come as the council looks poised to extend its 10 year contract with Openwide by another five years when it runs out in 2012.

There will also be talks with Openwide, and another interested party, about expanding the seafront activities by turning the former Red Lion toilets into a specialist retail or sports attraction linked to surfing or adventure sports such as parascending or kite boarding.

The moves will be discussed by the council cabinet on Monday April14, when it is also due to sanction urgent pier repairs to decking damaged in the November storm surge.

As reported earlier in the EDP the pier needs £28,000 of decking fixed quickly, as well as some short term structural repairs costing £78,000 - plus a further £280,000 worth of work in the medium term.

Cabinet will also be asked to reinstate its £7,000 membership of the Norfolk Tourism forum, axed under cutbacks four year ago, because of the importance of the industry to its economy.

Tourism is believed to generate £500m and more than 4,800 jobs - 15pc of all employment in the district.

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