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Swaffham council invites residents to join theatre and swimming pool project steering group

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Residents of Swaffham are being invited to join a new steering group set up to bring two prominent town facilities into public use.

The group, which was formally established during a town council meeting on Wednesday, is intended to develop a business case for the future of the Sacred Heart Barn Theatre and Swimming Pool.

A bid by the authority to purchase the facilities was accepted last year and council leaders say they now need community input to help complete the project.

The Buttercross in Swaffham.. (45463209)
The Buttercross in Swaffham.. (45463209)

Town Mayor Judy Anscombe said: “We know that there is enthusiasm and ideas that have been brought to the fore during our many debates on the merits of the Barn.

“This is an opportunity for volunteers to get involved in the delivery of an exciting project that will provide a facility for the Swaffham community and its visitors.”

The steering group is expected to start working alongside the council's consultants, Ingham Pinnock, and up to four members of the public are being sought to join.

Five town councillors were appointed to the panel during Wednesday's meeting, including three former mayors - Paul Darby, Colin Houghton and Jill Skinner.

The other appointed members were the current Deputy Mayor, Stewart Bell, and Kurt Oliver.

Mrs Anscombe added: “The Barn is currently one of our main priorities at present, so the work the Steering Group will be doing is crucial in setting things up in the right way from the beginning.

“I look forward to the new Steering Group bringing this project into fruition.”

The council says it is particularly keen to hear from people with experience of developing and managing community projects, governance, financial issues and preparing funding bids.

Town clerk Richard Bishop said volunteers had played a crucial role in the management and redevelopment of other town assets, such as the Community Centre and Assembly Rooms, as well as in the development of its Neighbourhood Plan.

He added: “The Barn Theatre and Swimming Pool can add another dimension to the town, so it will be good to get things moving forward.”

Anyone interested in getting involved is asked to email townclerk@swaffhamtowncouncil.gov.uk or write to Mr Bishop at the Town Hall in Swaffham, ahead of the council's next meeting on September 8.

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