Arts Council cash sought for King’s Lynn Guildhall plan

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A second funding bid for the proposed renovation of Lynn’s St George’s Guildhall has been submitted to the Arts Council.

Borough council chiefs have already lodged a bid for around £2.7 million to the Heritage Lottery Fund to finance the future development and management of the King Street venue. A decision is expected shortly.

The latest application, which is being submitted today, seeks a further £500,000 from the Arts Council towards the planned interior refurbishment of the theatre.

Officials say a decision on that application is likely to be made in the summer.

Details of the plans for the theatre were outlined in a meeting with representatives of local arts groups last week.

Borough council deputy leader Elizabeth Nockolds said: “What was really pleasing was that it was clear everyone is behind this project and they all want to see the Guildhall and complex being used more effectively.”

Mrs Nockolds has already said the theatre will retain a similar seating capacity for shows to what it has at the moment, at around 300.

The bid also includes plans for a more flexible area for workshops, exhibitions and community events, improved disabled access, new lighting and heating, plus renovations to the Fermoy Gallery that would make it suitable to house national exhibitions.

King’s Lynn Festival chairman Alison Croose said: “The celebration of the restoration of St George’s Guildhall launched King’s Lynn Festival in 1951 and the building continues to be a crucial and much-loved venue for a wide variety of festival events.

“It is at the heart of Lynn Festival and we would be delighted to see its facilities updated so it can continue to provide an intimate setting for a wide variety of events.”

The borough council has already committed £230,000 towards the project, while Alive Leisure have contributed £10,000 and the Festival Too committee have given £1,000.