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Cheese & Grain will be ready to open with new ventilation system

A NEW ventilation system costing up to £20,000 is to be installed in the main hall of the Cheese & Grain to ensure it is ready to safely open when Government Covid restrictions are lifted.

The new system will draw “fresh air” into the hall and expel “stale air”   to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and reassure audiences. 

“It’s absolutely vital that we make it a safe place to come to,” said the director of the Cheese & Grain, Steve Macarthur, at last week’s town council ‘council matters’ meeting. “We don’t want people in Frome, after we’ve got all this way through this pandemic, to have a hot spot of infection in Frome at the very last hurdle.”

The main hall in its current state was described by the venue’s director as “stuffy” and a “serious health hazard” if it were to reopen without the new ventilation system.

The director of the venue also explained that the new ventilation system will help the Cheese & Grain to prepare for the “strong possibility” of new Government regulations for music venues.

“No ventilation, no venue,” warned Steve.

“Improving ventilation in the hall will be a critical requirement before events can resume both for customer confidence and obtaining permissions from authorities,” said the town council’s deputy town clerk and economic development & regeneration manager, Peter Wheelhouse, in a report presented to councillors.

It is also hoped that the new ventilation system will help cool the main hall, which is known to get “intolerably hot” when at full capacity.

At the meeting last week, town councillors unanimously agreed to allocate a budget of £20,000 for the installation of the new ventilation system in the main hall.

An order will be placed  with a “suitable” supplier by the end of March.

“Anything that keeps the Cheese & Grain heart beating is great,” said chair of the ‘council’ matters’ committee, cllr Sara Butler.             

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