Published: May 16, 2010
Photo special: New HQ for Highbridge arts school opened

Burnham's Mayor and Mayoress were the VIP guests at an opening ceremony held on Saturday (May 15th) for a local performing arts school's new premises in Highbridge.

Curtain Call School of Performing Arts' new premises in The Old Creamery on the Huntspill Road in Highbridge were opened following a nine-month renovation project costing over £30,000.

Mayor and Mayoress Michael and Maria Clarke cut a ribbon outside the impressive modern facilities.

Curtain Call has been running for over a decade and offers a wide range of performing arts activities for youngsters and adults, while also entertaining the community and raising money for charity.

Principal Patricia Ham told she is "delighted" with the group's new home. "Curtain Call has had a 'Romanic life' for several years, teaching in various venues across the Burnham and Highbridge area, and last year we made steps to find a permanent home," she said.

"Having our own premises has been something I wanted to achieve for a long time, not just for me, but for all the students we teach. I wanted us all to have somewhere to be proud of that would be an inspirational and creative home for Curtain Call."

"It's been no mean feat to find a location for our studios since space is the most important issue. It's recommended that students of Primary School age who attend a dance class should be accommodated with at least three square metres per child, so you need the room for students to move freely and safely when they dance, also somewhere that's not claustrophobic, but bright and friendly."

"When I walked into the Old Creamery in Highbridge, despite being a grey and dreary day last year, I knew the place could be turned into something special."

She added that despite being severely dilapidated, a change of use application was submitted for the building, plans were drawn up and, with approval from Sedgemoor District Council and Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, the £30,000 refurbishment work started in earnest last August.

She said: "We liaised every step of the way with local building regulations officers, who have been very supportive. They have helped us bring The Old Creamery up to current health and safety specifications. At times the renovations have been quite trying because the building is very old and built of solid stuff."

"But I think it's wonderful that we've converted this heritage site and that it is being used to promote the arts for the local community, rather than being under threat of re-development like so many other sites in Highbridge and Burnham. I now consider the Old Creamery to be my second home!"


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