Ground breaking ceremony planned at King’s Lynn chapel

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Work will formally start this week on a £2.7 million scheme to renovate and build new facilities at Lynn’s historic St Nicholas Chapel.

Contractors first moved onto the site last month to put up scaffolding around the building, parts of which date back almost 1,000 years to the days of the Normans.

A ground-breaking ceremony will be held at the site this Friday, August 29, to mark the formal start of construction work.

And that will be followed by a reception to thank the many supporters who have contributed towards the cost of the work.

As previously reported, much of the funding for the project to provide new toilets, kitchen facilities and open space, plus low-energy heat and lighting systems and solar panels, will come from a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant worth £2.3 million.

However, more than £200,000 was raised to secure that funding through the Calling All Angels appeal launched to maintain the building as a community and concert venue.

Crispin Truman, chief executive of the Churches Conservation Trust which cares for the chapel, will be among the officials attending Friday’s event, where the first sod will be turned.

He said: “It is wonderful to be marking this phase in our project which has involved so many people in the community, not only the Churches Conservation Trust and the Friends of St Nicholas but the angels who supported us by donating so generously in order to help us secure funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Adrian Parker, chairman of the chapel’s Friends group, added: “At last we shall see exciting changes underway that will encourage more groups to use the chapel all year round.”

Representatives of the HLF are also expected to attend the ceremony, which will be follwed by a reception at the nearby True’s Yard museum.

It is hoped that building work on the chapel will be completed by next May and the venue will reopen for the first time next summer.