Downham Heritage project bosses hail ‘fantastic’ fundraising

Table top sale at Old Fire Station, Downham''John Cozens and Chritine Austin ANL-140510-134153009
Table top sale at Old Fire Station, Downham''John Cozens and Chritine Austin ANL-140510-134153009
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Officials behind a £650,000 project to develop a new heritage and education centre in the heart of Downham say they are very encouraged by the progress of the scheme.

Trustees of the Old Fire Station project have paid tribute to the support of local people following their latest fundraiser at the weekend.

Table top sale at Old Fire Station, Downham''Christine Leader and Gary Storer ANL-140510-134029009

Table top sale at Old Fire Station, Downham''Christine Leader and Gary Storer ANL-140510-134029009

And they hope work could start on the Priory Road site next spring.

A total of £342 was raised at the group’s latest table top sale on Sunday.

And, since an appeal fund was launched in February, local residents and businesses have helped to raise more than £10,000 for the scheme.

Trustee Christine Austin said: “For a small town like Downham, that has so many things to give to, it’s a fantastic effort.”

Although they are still around £60,000 short of raising the cash they need, the group has now begun tendering for the building work needed to transform the 1940s building.

Mrs Austin said they had been encouraged to begin the process by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which is supporting the project.

The trustees hope they will be able to start building work next April, though that is subject to HLF approval.

If all goes to plan, they hope to open the new centre, which will offer a public activity space as well as both permanent and temporary heritage displays, in the spring of 2016.

And the trustees hope to secure another big boost to the project when they host a concert by the Marham Bluebirds military choir at the town hall on Saturday November 15, from 7.30pm.

Tickets, which are priced £10, are now available from Lewks in Wales Court