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Conservatives committed to replacing Charringtons House with cultural hub

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Bishops Stortford General Views. The Rhodes Arts Centre. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (8972104)
Bishops Stortford General Views. The Rhodes Arts Centre. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (8972104)

Your local Conservatives are committed to redeveloping the Old River Lane site.

Charringtons House is a dated and ugly building, and the regeneration scheme envisaged by the council will contribute to the vibrancy of Bishop’s Stortford, creating a new town centre destination and complementing the offerings currently available in the town.

This is a partnership between the district council, town council and the Rhodes Trustees. A Conservative town council would intend to support both Rhodes and Old River Lane.

Our vision for the Old River Lane site is a high-quality mixed-use scheme of good quality design that incorporates retail and restaurant space, housing, a new public square, pedestrianized areas and a new arts and cultural centre and library. This new space will replace the tired and dated Charringtons House with a new focal point and create a new community hub for our town.

The new arts centre at Old River Lane will build upon the success of the Rhodes complex, with better facilities to create a real community asset. There are plans for a cinema, which will offer a different and unique cinematic offering.

The Rhodes Art Complex currently suffers from a lack of facilities. There are too few seats, the stage is too small and there is no access for scenery and no backstage door. This limits the type of shows that can be put on at the current site, and so the new arts centre at Old River Lane will enhance the cultural offering available in our town by increasing the variety and quality of events currently available. The

restricted space available at the current site also means there are limited opportunities to expand the current building, without reducing the already small number of parking spaces.

The venue will rejuvenate the town centre, allowing people to shop before the theatre or dine afterwards in the new retail and restaurant quarter. The Old River Lane Site will also include a one-stop-shop for council services and may include a new library with improved facilities.

Your local Conservatives are committed to supporting the existing Rhodes Art Complex in the future, and it will move toward providing more studio space for local groups such as dance groups. It is important we invest in community assets, and the new centre will be designed to complement and enhance the current cultural offering at the Rhodes Art Complex.

This is an exciting project that will breathe new life into our town centre, and bring much-needed investment to our town centre as our population expands. We will be losing an unappealing office block, and gaining a high quality retail and social quarter to create a new town centre focal point. The new arts centre will complement the arts provision by the Rhodes Arts Complex, and will enhance the cultural offering in our town for the benefit of residents.

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