There was champagne all round at a once derelict home in the heart of Lynn at the weekend as the fruits of a five-year project to restore the building were unveiled.
Officials from the King’s Lynn Preservation Trust showed off the newly completed town house at 90 London Road, which has already been sold, to supporters during a ceremony on Saturday morning.
The 19th century property was bought by the Trust in 2009 before work began on the site in 2010.
They became involved after plans to convert the building into a hostel for the homeless fell through in the summer of 2008.
Group director and honorary secretary David Cowling said: “It was a derelict shell. It was in a very poor state.”
Although the building had previously been sub-divided into flats, the trust has now renovated it back to its original use as a single house. Work on the project was finally completed last month.
And it was confirmed yesterday that a £235,000 sale of the house has already been agreed, subject to the exchange of contracts.
Sally Jarvis, sales negotiator for Lynn agent Brown and Co, who marketed the property, said the deal had been agreed before the Christmas break.
She added: “There has been lots of interest. It was very, very popular.”
Trust chairman Nick Balaam said: “This was a challenging project but, despite some delays, we are delighted to complete it and even more delighted it is attracting much interest on the property market.
“King’s Lynn has a rich historical heritage deserving protection and promotion.
“The Trust plays its part by using its resources to acquire buildings of past architectural merit and, through careful conservation, make them fit for modern purpose, but without compromising their original design and character: in other words, using the town’s heritage to good effect in the 21st century without losing it.”
Funds from the sale of the house, together with private donations, membership subscriptions and grants from other public bodies, will now go towards the Trust’s next project.
Officials hope to select a site during the course of this year.
Mr Cowling said the group is looking at a couple of possible sites, though no agreements have yet been reached.
Community leaders and heritage organisation representatives were given the chance to see the restored house.
The guest list included North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, the borough’s Mayor Barry Ayres and his wife Christine and Dr Simon Thurley, the chief executive of English Heritage.
Mr Bellingham said he was delighted to see the finished project for himself.
He said: “The restoration has been done to a very high standard and the house has been returned to its former glory.
“London Road is the key access into Lynn and it’s incredibly important that visitors form a favourable impression on their arrival, so restoring these period homes is vital.”
He added that it was “great news” the house had already been sold.
He said he understood the property had been bought by a couple who intended to use it as their family home.
Meanwhile, the trust says it is keen to hear from anyone who would like to help with future conservation projects.
Anyone interested in getting involved should visit the trust’s website, www.klprestrust.org.uk, or phone Mr Cowling or office manager Maxine Selby on 01553 763871.