MUSICIAN Jarvis Cocker will officially launch the newly-refurbished Chalkwell Hall next week.

The former frontman of indie band Pulp will be the star at the opening of the Grade II listed building in the centre of Chalkwell Park, the new home of arts organisation, Metal.

It is hoped the eco-friendly building will provide a chance for artists to develop their talents in a creative environment.

Southend councillor in charge of culture, Derek Jarvis, said: “It’s excellent to see Chalkwell Hall brought back to life with such creative drive and vision. Metal is already making its mark on the borough in many areas with projects, activities and events for our residents and visitors.

“We are honoured to have such a celebrity as Jarvis Cocker to perform the opening ceremony, and the guest list at this launch includes major figures in the arts world.

“This really shows the enormous significance of Metal.”

After the hall is officially opened, guests will be taken on a tour of the building, and guides will be on hand to explain the artwork.

Colette Bailey, managing director of Metal said: “We believe artists can effect change in our society. Our vision is to create a central role for artists in civic life.”

Metal gained funding from Arts Council England, East, Southend council and the East of England Development Agency to refurbish the building.

The official launch takes place on Thursday at 6pm, and is invite only.