NOTHING could be more aptly named than the Phoenix Foundry in Lewes.

Once, the manufacturer of iron products that upheld stations, decorated arches and safeguarded manholes all over the world, it was rescued from automotive repairs by Wenda Bradley and Christine Hall, rising again in 2006 to become an innovative community arts centre.

For ten years, Artemis Arts specialised in projects that focussed on the history of the foundry, researching pictures, images and stories and giving the picturesque industrial spaces new life as a cultural centre.

Now the site is to be redeveloped and to mark the planned demolition, a concert was held with a specially composed Cantata.

Musician and songwriter Helen Glavin has lived in Sussex for 12 years. Her first local music commission, The Sword Of Freedom, commemorated the battle of Lewes in 1264; the Phoenix Cantata has already attracted audiences at Glyndebourne, Amsterdam and the Brighton Festival.

John Hancorn conducted the Everyman Ensemble, the Paddock Singers, violinist Susan Moate and soloists Greg Barnett, Ruth Kerr and Fabian Edwards in a moving and dramatic performance of a cantata whose score and libretto brilliantly illustrated aspects of foundry life and "the path of iron" from the country.

To Valhallah in particular captured the heavy rhythms of beating metal – male singers sported blue work shirts to echo their industrial forbears although, as Lewes mayor Graham Mayhew pointed out, they didn’t remain blue for long in the sweat, grime and irondust of the factory.

Marvellous teenage singers Oscar Morgan and Eleri Jones promised a future as well as a topical reference to the Somme commemorations with Who Fights The Wars.

Helen Glavin’s imaginative music combined a gift of melody with a spiritual dimension and a lyrical emotion.

From the ashes of the ironworks, she has fashioned new life, new heart and new hope – the Phoenix will rise again.