Gas drama fails to halt Radstock's Victoria Hall re-launch
Radstock's Victoria Hall has been reopened to the public despite a last-minute gas leak drama.
The first stage of Bath and North East Somerset Council's £660,000 project to rejuvenate the town centre venue has been completed, with two dance studios, gallery space and a coffee bar now available on the ground floor for classes and community events.
Residents had the chance to get a first glimpse of the makeover at a craft market on Sunday.
Hundreds of people descended on the hall to have a look at what was on offer from a selection of local artists and craftspeople at the market which was hailed a success by organisers.
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The opening of the hall looked in doubt just hours before it was due to officially open on Friday after a contractor fractured a gas pipe while digging a water main in the back garden area. Everyone inside the hall was evacuated for two hours while the problem was resolved.
Council leader Councillor Paul Crossley (Lib Dem, Southdown) said: "We are delighted to hand over part of the building to the tenants who will start to support the community to make the best possible use of the space available. Victoria Hall is an iconic building from Radstock's past.
"It is now a big part of a prosperous future."
Work will continue at the hall as builders prepare the upper floor for use.
A theatre will be created and original Victorian features which had previously been hidden will be revealed, with the project due to end in December.
Thirty students from Bath Dance College have also now moved into the building with a full range of community activities on offer for the community.