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Climate group chairman hopes Green Britain Centre can 'fulfil original mission' in Swaffham



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The chairman of a market town climate group has spoken about his hopes for a closed community building currently under negotiation between two councils.

Swaffham Town Council held a private virtual meeting on Wednesday in which the Green Britain Centre was discussed. Dr Colin Abbiss, chairman of Swaffham Climate Action, attended the meeting.

Dr Abbiss and his wife were volunteers at the Turbine Way site for three years before it was closed in 2018.

The Green Britain Centre at Swaffham, which closed suddenly in 2018
The Green Britain Centre at Swaffham, which closed suddenly in 2018

They were part of an education team who talked to students visiting the centre about science, the environment and climate change.

Following this week's meeting, Dr Abbiss said: "I want to see local people responding to the crisis of climate change. That was very much the mission of the original centre, to get people to live sustainably.

"There were 1,000 people who signed a petition to keep the Green Britain Centre open. I do not know of any outcomes yet but we need a solution for everybody.

The Green Britain Centre (formerly known as the Eco-Tech centre) before it closed in 2018
The Green Britain Centre (formerly known as the Eco-Tech centre) before it closed in 2018

"I want to see the Green Britain Centre open again and fulfilling its original intention."

The idea of potentially planting trees in the atrium was reportedly part of the talks.

Breckland Council and Swaffham Town Council are currently negotiating the future of the building in which a land swap involving Days Field would be part of the deal.

Councillors have previously spoken about the centre being "a tremendous opportunity" for the town with Breckland councillor Ian Sherwood expressing a desire for the building to become a sports and leisure provision during a meeting in July.

Dr Abbiss added: "It was a great centre for hope. I would like to see it back open but I am not sure how we would do that. A lot hinges on money."

Swaffham mayor Jill Skinner said the council is currently exploring whether this opportunity is in the best interests of the town and no final decision has been made. She added that the public will be informed if and when a final decision is made.



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