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9 July 2004

Countryside Properties Plc is the title sponsor for the third year running of Abbeyfest, the summer festival of live theatre, jazz and blues by the River Wandle at Merton Abbey Mills in South West London.

Abbeyfest runs throughout the summer from 9 July to 30 August 2004, entertaining more than 20,000 visitors over the seven weeks in 2003, and even more people are expected this year.  Abbeyfest is unique not only because of its wonderful surroundings and setting within the authentic arts and crafts market, but all the open air performances are completely free to visitors.  

This year there will be over 100 performances over the seven weeks, which are held on the bandstand, in the Colour House* and Chapter House** theatres, and in the William Morris Pub.  Offering a wonderful mix of original, classic and contemporary shows including 12 theatre productions almost every day during the festival, seven jazz concerts held every Friday night on the bandstand, two Chamber concerts, World music and South London's only Blues Festival "Blues at the Mills" where 10 bands will play in the William Morris Pub and on the bandstand over the August bank holiday weekend.   There will also be a prize draw every Friday where Virgin Active Health Club is giving away eight free annual memberships and a gift pack.

Countryside Properties supports Abbeyfest as a creative and exciting festival that grows in stature every year.  The Company's adjacent development known as 'Abbey Mills' consists of 288 one, two and three bedroom apartments is about to see its first residents move in.

The development also includes a Virgin Active Health and Fitness Centre with a 25 metre swimming pool, a Premier Lodge Hotel and two restaurants which are also currently under construction and are planned to open this Autumn.  The area is growing fast and attracting more and more visitors.

Neil Armstrong, marketing director for Countryside Properties, comments: "The market and its summer festival offer a key centre for the new and old community at Abbey Mills and we feel it is important to encourage and support this, which is why we have sponsored the event for the last three years".

Merton Abbey Mills is just 30 minutes away from Central London, with South Wimbledon and Colliers Wood underground stations within a few minutes walk.  The new east-west Tramlink, which connects Wimbledon with Croydon and Beckenham, can be reached from Morden Road or Merton Park.  There are also good road links via the A3 to the M25, Heathrow and Gatwick airports and the national motorway network.  

During Abbeyfest, the marketing suite for Abbey Mills will be open daily and can be contacted on 020 8543 6377 or take a virtual tour of the development by visiting www.abbeymills.com.  For further information about Abbeyfest please visit www.abbeyfest.co.uk.  

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Information correct as at 09/07/2004