In response to your "name and address supplied" correspondent, may I say how much I applaud the vision and adventurous ambition of ACT (Arts and Community in Thornbury). Contrary to your corespondent's assertion, Thornbury Arts Festival do fill the Armstrong Hall when high calibre acts appear. To attract and accommodate great artists we need a great venue.

The halls of Thornbury, including the Armstrong Hall, have given stalwart service over years - and years and years. But don't they seem a little bit tired now? Don't our local music and drama groups deserve something better in the twenty-first century?

I agree that the new theatre will have to be self-sufficient financially when it is up and running. A dynamic and professional management will have to be recruited. To attract quality people we must have a quality performing arts centre.

As to being "realistic", we are surrounded by the fruits of timid projects whose reach failed to exceed their grasp. It is always easy to find reasons for not doing things. We need some positive thinking. This is achievable. What we may think of as audacious now, future Thornburians will thank us for. And not just Thornbury. This can be a regional centre of excellence right on our doorsteps.

I urge your readers to become FACTs (Friends of ACT) and help promote this project, the most exciting since my family moved here 34 years ago.

Jerry Dicker High Street Thornbury