THIS week was meant to herald a new dawn for entertainment in Stourport with the re-opening of the Civic Theatre Hall.

However, John Caldwell, chairman of the Civic Group, has announced that the opening of the refurbished hall has had to be put back until Saturday, October 4.

Mr Caldwell said: “We set a pretty ambitious deadline for the building work to be completed by as our original date was in time for the Stourport Carnival.

“We were advised that this may be a little too ambitious and we eventually agreed on the week commencing the 19th which was seen as feasible, but unfortunately this has not been the case.

“With a project this big, and a building of this age, there were bound to be things that would only be found once the work started.

“For us there have been lots of little things, but the delays they have caused have added up to a larger delay overall.”

As the deadline loomed closer, the group had to make a decision quickly and even though there was a chance to get the building open for Friday, there would have been no time to decorate.

Mr Caldwell said: “We would be able to open the doors and invite the public to look around, but having to say things like ‘Look at the new ceilings and light fixtures, but please don't look at the walls’.

“We, like many local people, are proud of The Civic Hall and the work that the volunteers have put in to get it where it is today.

“If we had opened the doors to a half finished venue we may as well have just not done the refurbishment work at all.

“We want our community to be proud of the building.”

The new hall will now open with a gig by the Barefoot Serpents and Bad Luck and Superstition, rather than a concert of Stourport Choral.

However, Stourport Choral's concert will still go ahead but at the Wesley Methodist Church, from 7.30pm on Saturday.

Mr Caldwell said the group, which successfully brought the hall it into community ownership after a deal was made between Wyre Forest District Council and Stourport Town Council, still has plenty to be positive about.

“We have a venue that is so near completion that you can almost reach out and touch it,” he said.

“We have a programme of events that are already stretching through next year and we've already booked our carnival day entertainment for next September.

“We've got the return of old favourites and some really new and exciting ideas and events coming through.”

For more information about Stourport Civic, visit