Former Hadleigh fire station to open as art studios

The former fire station in Hadleigh The former station will be used as a hub for the cultural Olympiad in 2012

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Artists are being offered the chance to take up residency in a former fire station in Essex.

The building in Hadleigh closed in 2009 and has been renovated to include 15 studios, offices and a community hall for use by local groups.

Essex County Council has contracted the Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art (ACAVA) charity to run the venue until March 2013.

People have until 28 June to submit an application for a studio.

Duncan Smith from ACAVA said: "We're very excited at the prospect of running an arts and community centre in such a landmark building.

"We are looking for community groups needing offices or to use the large appliance hall for meetings, events or exhibitions, and for local artists needing studios."

'Vibrant space'

It will also be used for the council's cultural Olympiad events being planned to tie in with the nearby Olympic mountain biking event in August 2012.

The former Station E35 building, located on the A13 through the town, has stood empty since its crew was relocated to Rayleigh Weir.

Councillor Stephen Castle, Essex County Council cabinet member for the 2012 Games said: "I'm looking forward to seeing the building given a new lease of life and become a vibrant space.

"It was extremely important to me that the old fire station continued to contribute to the people of Hadleigh."

There will be preview events for interested people and groups on 21 and 23 June and an open day on 28 June.

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