Lynn’s St George’s Guildhall is facing a bright future after a £10,000 donation towards a major project to re-develop the 15th century building.
Alive Leisure, which runs many of the borough’s recreational facilities, has underpinned its commitment to the proposed multi-million pound scheme by pledging its support.
Funding bids have been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England for the £3.7m project to breathe new life into the historic building, which William Shakespeare is believed to have performed in back in 1593.
West Norfolk councillors will not know the outcome of the bids for the building, which is part of the Lynn Arts Centre complex, for a few more months.
Deputy council leader Elizabeth Nockolds, said the commitment from members of the Alive Leisure board would help the council’s case for funding.
Councillor Nockolds said: “This £3.7m project is vital to the ongoing sustainability and use of this key heritage building, which forms a part of the arts provision in King’s Lynn.
“The details so far have been worked up in consultation with many partner organisations and interested parties and individuals.
“If successful with this bid, the project will offer ongoing opportunities for community art groups, local people, schools and artists to get involved.”
Alison Croose, chairman of the Lynn Festival, said: “The Guildhall remains 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 with an excellent acoustic for a wide variety of events, including smaller-scale classical music concerts as well as jazz and folk, speakers and films.
Peter Lemon, chairman of Alive Leisure, said: “The Guildhall will be programmed by Alive Leisure if the bids are secured and this will offer some exciting opportunities to explore partnerships with a range of of local and national organisations.”
The King Street complex has been largely empty since the trust responsible for running the gallery areas left last year.