Swaffham town council purchases Sacred Heart Barn theatre and pool
Sacred Heart barn and swimming pool has finally been secured by Swaffham Town Council.
The newly-appointed barn steering group met for the first time last Thursday and have been set the task of establishing a management structure for the building, to bring the newly publicly owned premises into community use and working alongside the consultants in the coming weeks.
There is no fixed date for a grand opening, all of these plans will have to be subjected to public scrutiny and then a way forward will be agreed.
In order to bring the facility into community use some refurbishment and improvements will be necessary, this is part of the brief for the new steering group.
Chairman of the steering group, councillor Jill Skinner said: “It is fantastic that the town council now own the barn, and I am honoured to be elected chairman of the new steering group.
"It is so good to finally get started now on the nitty gritty of this project as this is where the hard work starts.
"We have only just had our first meeting, the day after we finally acquired the barn itself and before we had been handed over the keys to the building.
"There are lots of ideas and lots of enthusiasm to make this project work for the wider Swaffham community.
"It is both a relief to get to this stage and daunting at the same time for the task ahead. Rest assured we will do our best now to get things moving as soon as we can, but please be patient.
"There is a lot of work to do behind the scenes, and we will do our best to keep the public informed of progress through the local press, our website, social media and the Swaffham newsletter.”
Town mayor Judy Anscombe said: “Swaffham Neighbourhood Plan stated that ‘there is opportunity for more to be happening locally, and with more space in which to be doing so in the form of community buildings'.
"The need for new or improved facilities also highlighted cinema and theatre capacity. The town council hopes that with the acquisition of the barn, an exciting vision for an arts and craft, theatre and cinema hub can be facilitated for use by the community in our growing town.
"The barn provides us with flexible space to cater for different organisations and groups, and for all ages.
"Once the work on a business plan has been completed by our barn steering group, together with our consultants, we will present the findings in a public consultation, so that the vision can be shared with you all.”
The council is working with consultants Ingham Pinnock to prepare the feasibility study and business plan.