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Empty town centre building to reopen in September

PUBLISHED: 14:36 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:52 20 August 2019

The former Poundstretcher store in London Road North, Lowestoft, is to be brought back into use. PHOTO: Reece Hanson

The former Poundstretcher store in London Road North, Lowestoft, is to be brought back into use. PHOTO: Reece Hanson

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A town centre building which has been closed since 2016 is to open its doors once again next month.

The Poundstretcher store relocated in 2016. PHOTO: SIMON WARDThe Poundstretcher store relocated in 2016. PHOTO: SIMON WARD

The former site of Poundstretcher, on 165 London Road North, will be transformed in September to celebrate and showcase local talent.

Local visual artists group Easterly Artists will take over the building to stage a pop-up art exhibition.

The move follows a successful exhibition in the Britten Centre, and will see 15 artists taking part, including new artists.

Miles Barry, coordinator, said: "Feedback fromm the Britten Centre exhibition and the recent artists' studio trail has been hugely encouraging, and it is very moving to see so many positive comments from local residents welcoming the group's efforts.

"The membership has grown significantly in recent months, and this new space in London Road North gives us the perfect opportunity to show the new work in an ideal setting."

The group consists of practising artists living or working within a 20-mile radius of Ness Point.

The exhibition forms part of the Lowestoft Heritage Open Day celebrations taking place in September, which are based on the theme of 'People Power', and will include painting, print-making, cermatics, screen-printing, collography, artistic wood-turning, magical realism and sculptural assemblages.

Danny Steel, founder and managing director of property agents Steel & Co, said: "We are delighted to welcome this new venture by Easterly Artists.

"As more big names continue closing their operations in Lowestoft, it is encouraging to see a local group reviving local buildings, breathing fresh life into the area and attracting new visitors and business into the town."

The gallery will open on Friday, September 13, daily until Sunday, September 22, between 11am and 4pm.

From September 26 until October 5, the gallery will be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 11am and 4pm.

The Poundstretcher store closed when the shop expanded and relocated along London Road North in October 2016, promising an additional 15 jobs at the bigger store in the former QD Stores building.

In October, the building attracted national attention after the security alarm was triggered by a man on the roof, and rang for days before being turned off.

A proposed new restaurant tenant came forward in the wake of the disruption, but a move failed to come to fruition.

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