Friday June 3rd, 2016

Local business and town councillor get behind Woodbridge gala performance

A popular local business and a councillor for Woodbridge showed their support for the development of Woodbridge waterfront this week by donating money to a gala performance that will be held in the town next year.

Independent home furnishings store Barretts donated £5000 towards the performance and Councillor Geoff Holdcroft of Suffolk Coastal District Council donated more than £5700.
The gala will celebrate the opening of the new Whisstocks site, a community hub for Woodbridge with a new town museum, public space and 32 metre boat shed – known as the Long Shed – which will be home to a full­scale replica of the Sutton Hoo Anglo­Saxon burial ship.

Suffolk Coastal Council and Barretts present cheques to Woodbridge Riverside Trust

Cllr Geoff Holdcroft, Barretts of Woodbridge staff and Woodbridge Riverside Trust trustees

Woodbridge Riverside Trust (WRT), the charitable trust behind the boat shed, has commissioned Jana Rowland, a contemporary classical composer, who will lead on the composition and development of the gala with local schools, youth groups and community choirs.

Scheduled for May 2017, the gala will mark the completion of the long­awaited community development celebrating the historical importance of the first Christian King of England and the treasures buried with him, unearthed in the 1930s over the River Deben at Sutton Hoo.

Cllr Geoff Holdcroft, local member for Woodbridge, said:

“I’m delighted that together at Suffolk Coastal we’ve been able to provide so much support to this innovative project.
Not only will this performance bring music and our local history together, it’s set to be the catalyst for the Trust to fulfil its larger 10 year ambition of constructing a full­scale, iconic burial ship replica.
I’m excited to find out what’s in store for the performance next year and for the future of the Trust.”

Jill Barrett of Barretts of Woodbridge said:

“Barretts is delighted and honoured to be supporting the Woodbridge Waterfront gala event. We are always keen to help with local initiatives, and when Sam Simpson and Nancy Clay outlined the scope of the production we jumped at the chance to be involved.
This undoubtedly will be the cultural highlight in East Anglia for 2017, rightly celebrating the launch of a landmark heritage and commercial development for Woodbridge.”

Sam Simpson, WRT trustee with responsibility for gala, said:

“We are extremely grateful to Barretts and SCDC for their support and generous donations. The exciting development taking place on Woodbridge waterfront will benefit the whole community and this gala performance is a chance to raisen awareness and for everyone to get involved.”

Woodbridge Riverside Trust will be taking on the new boat shed, leased from Woodbridge Town Council, in spring 2017. Before then, the Trust needs to raise around £70,000 through donations, sponsorship and grants for fitting out the building.

People can find out more about the project and make donations by going to

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