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New arts hub, studio space and gallery planned for Ilminster building

A NEW hub for artists and makers could be developed in Ilminster is plans are approved.

A scheme has been submitted by Summerfield Planning Ltd, on behalf of Mr P Kerr, to redevelop a building at 39 East Street.

Currently used as a storage site, the scheme would see studio space and some office space created, building on the “arts reputation of Ilminster”, the application said.

The new use would be as a “hub for artists and makers as a studio, gallery and co-working design and ground floor workshop, while maintaining an office element”, it went on.

39 East Street in Ilminster could become a new arts hub. Picture: Google

39 East Street in Ilminster could become a new arts hub. Picture: Google

“Works to the front elevation are largely works of repair and maintenance,” the application added.

“New front entrance doors are proposed that will be concealed behind painted timber doors when the building is not in use.

“Internally, and not requiring planning permission, a new staircase will be constructed. Two conservation style roof lights are proposed to be inserted into the rear/north roof slope enabling more (north) light to penetrate this pre-existing space.

“The proposed windows look north and do not change the appearance from the street or any vantage point. They are essential for providing north light into the studio space.

“The use of the rooflights means that there is no need to introduce new fenestration elsewhere, or to change the existing solid door openings which are visible to the highway.”

How the new space could look if plans are approved. Picture: That's The Plan/Somerset Council

How the new space could look if plans are approved. Picture: That’s The Plan/Somerset Council

The application said the building was currently “unsuitable for modern purposes”, other than storage, but has “significant potential to provide an active use at the edge of the town centre”.

“The proposed mixture of gallery studio design office and light workshop is not readily available in the locality,” it added.

For more details on the proposals, and to comment, log on to www.somerset.gov.uk and search for application reference 24/01115/FUL.

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