Find the money for arts

It is with astonishment that I read your correspondent's negative views on the attempts by ACT to create a new performance venue in Thornbury.

I live on the Bristol boundary, but turn my eyes towards Thornbury as the preferred location for socialising, sport and culture. Your local shops can provide pretty well all the basic needs, and also a good selection of the items deemed too specialised for the boring major multiples. We need a thriving community in a town with character to attract merchants to the empty shops.

The scattered local halls do a wonderful job for all the wealth of local talent, but are ill equipped for the full range of possible events. I do agree that the Armstrong Hall Complex needs to be rebuilt, but the most efficient "use of arts cash" to do this is on a new site where a modern building can provide flexible comfortable seating, oceans of space backstage, and up-to-date technical equipment. As for viability, look at what the small town of Brecon has achieved with their prospering theatre. Look at your popular leisure centre.

We live in one of the most affluent countries in the world and surely we can find the resources for the arts. We have benefited from the foresight and vision of our predecessors, and now it is our turn to leave something fine for our descendants to enjoy.

James Morrell, Gable Close, Easter Compton

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