Sturminster Newton is still at the heart of the Blackmore Vale – that old landscape sprinkled with oak trees and filled with dairy farms. The river waters still rise and fall, regularly flooding the fields along the banks of the Stour, the architecture is still old and charming and the mill still works. But things have changed in recent years. The closure of the cattle market and the declining importance of farming to the economy have meant that the town has had to look to the future. The fact that The Exchange, the elegant and modern 300 seat performance venue, was built on the site of the cattle market, exemplifies all of this.