IN response to the concerns expressed on your letters page last week, concerning the refurbishment of Kidderminster Town Hall, we would like to point out there have been several meetings held and the main user groups involved in arts events at the venue have been invited.

Some of these have been organised by the Arts Forum and some by other groups. There has been extensive consultation with those involved in using the Town Hall and the architect has given presentations on more than one occasion - most recently with a model of the proposals.

The officers concerned have gone out of their way to respond to inquiries from affected groups and many of the worries that were expressed have been taken wholeheartedly on board.

The result is that there is now a wonderful opportunity for Wyre Forest to have the centre for arts activities that it has needed for so long and that so many people have campaigned for.

Under the current plans, the Town Hall will be restored to a state much closer to the original building than at present, with the removal of some of the worst features that have been added piecemeal over the years.

We have been assured that the Hill Organ and the acoustic of the Music Room will not be adversely affected and concerts, in particular, will benefit from improved stage and off-stage facilities for orchestras and choirs as well as other groups.

Change is always difficult and we all have wonderful memories of events at the Town Hall over the years. But needs change and this is really the best chance for Kidderminster to have an up-to-date arts facility which will, at least, match those that are being built in other towns. The town must not be left behind its neighbours.

It is disappointing that the refurbishment has been postponed - it is to be hoped that there is the political will to see the project through as the alternative may well be that the facilities we do have may close altogether.



Wyre Forest Arts Forum