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Sectretary of State visits Hadleigh Studios

On Monday 9 January, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, visited the studios at the Hadleigh Old Fire Station and restarted the clock.

The fire station was opened by ACAVA in June 2011 to provide studios for 16 artists, community offices and a flexible space for meetings, exhibitions and events in the Appliance Hall, built originally to house fire engines. In the summer of 2012 HOFS will also be a base for the mountain biking event of the Olympic Games.

The clock, an iconic presence in the centre of the town and between the two lanes of the A13 to Southend, had been stopped since the fire service moved to new premises in 2009. Its restarting after renovation work was hailed as a major signal of the regeneration of Hadleigh.

The event was attended by Rebecca Harris, MP for Castle Point, Councillor Pam Challis OBE, Leader of Castle Point Borough Council and Chairman of Castle Point Regeneration Partnership, Councillor Stephen Castle, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and the 2012 Games and Chairman of the Olympic Legacy Board, Jason Fergus, Head of 2012 Legacy and Strategic Sport, Essex County Council, local authority officers, local people and many of the artists now working in the studios.