One of Swaffham’s iconic buildings which at one time served as a job centre, is now being used once again to assist people with employment.
Accountancy firm Grow Your Business, which offers a range of advice and services for new and established businesses, has moved into a suite of offices on the first floor of the old Corn Exchange. On Friday the Town Mayor Cllr Paul Darby went along to the Market Place premises to perform the official opening.
Directors Annie Turner and Tim Vogel are delighted that new life has been brought back to that part of the building which has been unoccupied for nearly ten years.
Costa Coffee took over the ground floor about eight years ago, leaving the stunning old Italianate first-floor offices empty.
Said Tim: “We at Grow Your Business are very keen on local interest and in recycling, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to bring this building back into full use. There is also an irony that its last use was the job centre, trying to help people back into employment and here we are helping people to grow their business and probably take on more staff, so it is a return to its helping days.”
Built in 1858, the historic landmark has been used over the years as a cinema, working men’s club and reading room. It later became the labour exchange and job centre, which it remained for many years until the early 2000s, when the whole building became empty. As part of the investment by Grow Your Business, it has taken on two new team members, Conor Murray, who is doing an apprenticeship with the Association of Accounting Technicians and Connie Langley, who is already partly AAT qualified.
Said Tim: “We believe that people expect all their accountants staff to be professionally trained and we also believe the next generation deserve the chance of proper qualifications, so this is a question of putting our money where our mouth is.”
The new offices also provides meeting room facilities for local businesses and self employed people.
Said Annie: “We have office space available and if someone is setting up on their own, which can be quite daunting, then they will able to come here and hire out a room, perhaps hourly, daily or weekly. We can be flexible, according to their requirements and can also offer advice at an arranged convenient time. It is a beautiful building and a special place to work, with easy access to car parking.”
Grow Your Business was previously located in Lynn Road in the town. The Corn Exchange was built just four years after the one in Lynn.