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Cheese and Grain to be transformed!

EXCITING plans have been revealed that, if given the green light, will transform the Cheese and Grain, as well as create more jobs at the venue.

Plans to invest nearly £500,000 into the Cheese and Grain will be discussed by Frome Town Council at a meeting on Wednesday 20th of February. It is all part of a Frome Town Council initiative to make the venue self-sufficient and not rely on town council cash.

The plans include making new meeting, training and rehearsal rooms, a new bar and café that is open seven days a week, as well as creating four or five new full-time jobs.

The box office will be open all day, every day and into the evening, selling tickets for events across Frome, and for events and outdoor festivals across the region.

Before the plans are given the go-ahead, Frome Town Council will seek government approval for borrowing, planning consent and approval from Mendip District Council, who are the freeholders of the venue.

Peter Wheelhouse, the town council’s economic development and regeneration manager, explained that the scheme will also provide facilities for small businesses and office space for freelance workers. Most of the new jobs will be in the café, bar and extended box office. He said that the plans will save Frome Town Council money from 2014 and the existing subsidy paid by the council to the Cheese and Grain will be converted into an investment package.

Cllr Toby Eliot, chair of the council’s internal affairs committee said, “Investment is always better than subsidy. Instead of propping up the Cheese and Grain, this initiative will create a truly self-sustaining community asset.”

Steve Macarthur, the manager of the Cheese and Grain, said that they were not expecting any serious objections to the plan from anyone in Frome or from Mendip, as the scheme, he said, “saves taxpayers money, creates jobs and supports local enterprise. It will strengthen the Cheese and Grain’s reputation as a regional venue, bringing in badly needed visitors, who will use Frome’s hotels, restaurants, taxis and takeaways.

“The Cheese and Grain, which also recently saw the installation of a new stage and won the Green Market of the Year Award, will continue to host markets, fairs and events. The whole scheme meets all of Mendip’s strategic priorities and is in line with Frome Town Council’s commitment to promoting employment, economic regeneration and sustainability.”

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