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Committee ‘encouraged’ by discussions on King’s Lynn guildhall future

King's Lynn Arts Centre - St George's Guildhall
King's Lynn Arts Centre - St George's Guildhall

Councillors have a duty to safeguard Lynn’s St George’s Guildhall, both for its past and its future, a committee has heard.

Last month, a working group was set up to investigate the future of the King Street complex, following the rejection of a lottery funding bid for major renovations.

The move came after several council panels were invited to consider options ranging from developing a scheme for the redevelopment of the whole site to mothballing it.

Members of West Norfolk Council’s regeneration and development panel heard there had been encouraging ideas put forward during initial discussions about the site during a meeting last night.

But its vice-chairman Avril Wright, who is also the council’s heritage champion, said its history, including its association with Shakespeare who is believed to have performed there, meant inaction was not an option.

She said: “It has a huge history and we owe it to King’s Lynn, to history and to the future to do something really special with this site.”

Mrs Wright, who represents the Snettisham ward, is one of five councillors who were appointed to the working group when it was established in January.

The others are Judy Collingham, former borough mayor Colin Manning, Graham Middleton and Andy Tyler.

Mrs Wright said they had visited the Snape Maltings concert hall in Suffolk to find out more about how its potential had been utilised.

Discussions are also taking place with interested parties, including arts and theatre groups.

And Mrs Wright added: “The ideas that have come forward so far have been really stimulating. I think we’re getting to the heart of this issue. I’m really excited.

“It’s a journey I feel privileged to be a part of. It’s our heritage.”


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