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Project aims to turn former Palomino pub into arts centre for Newmarket

The Palomino Art campaign (11710357)
The Palomino Art campaign (11710357)

An ambitious project to turn Newmarket’s former Palomino pub into an arts centre was revealed to town councillors at a meeting on Tuesday night.

The pub has been on the market for £400,000 since last orders was called in October 2018 since when plans to knock it down and build six houses on the site have been submitted to West Suffolk Council planners

But a group led by teacher Louise Eatock is determined to raise more than £650,000 to save the building and put it to use for the

“It would offer a wealth of artistic opportunities including a music venue for young bands and adult evening classes in subjects like painting, photography and film making,” said Louise.

“It could be used for workshops for primary schools during the day and as a meeting place with a cafe for the entire community.

“It will take a massive fundraising campaign and we would need to look into what grants would be available,” added Louise. “It’s a big project but we think Newmarket is worth it.”

Louise was joined by town councillors Michael Jefferys, Chris O’Neill, Kevin Yarrow and Ollie Bowen, former councillor Joy Uney and community activist Rachel Wood to put together the proposal which was presented to councillors by Cllr Jefferys on Tuesday.

The group is also researching the Community Right to Buy scheme under which a building can be listed by a local authority as an asset of the community and any prospective sale can be ‘paused’ for up to six months while the community tries to raise the funds required to buy it.

The Palomino, which opened on November 22, 1963 – the day of President Kennedy’s assassination – dates to the so-called ’golden age’ of post-war pub building and appears at number seven on a recently published list of mid-20th century pubs deemed worthy of preserving.

“As well as the arts centre, we think it’s important to save the building from a heritage point of view,” said Louise. “It’s a piece of Newmarket’s history.”

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