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Shakespeare Guildhall Trust bemoans council's role in failure to achieve share of government town centre funding

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The Shakespeare Guildhall Trust (SGT) has said it feels let down by West Norfolk Council after Lynn was unsuccessful in receiving government funding for the town centre.

Lynn missed out on a share of the Government’s Future High Streets Fund with the SGT stating the lost opportunity to secure £21m revealed the council's failure to highlight the value of the St George's Guildhall on King Street.

West Norfolk Council has emphasised further applications will be sought after their hard work amounted to nothing.

St George's Guildhall, King's Lynn
St George's Guildhall, King's Lynn

But a public notice by the Trust said: "Despite the best efforts of our management, SGT was not allowed any involvement in the development of the proposals, and was not allowed to see the bid.

"A draft copy of the bid document has since been acquired and this reveals that the 65 page document contains only four sentences relating to St George's Guildhall.

"SGT sees this as another example of the borough council failing to recognise the important role that the Guildhall can play in a regenerated town centre."

The Trust has appealed to the borough council to engage in meaningful dialogue to develop a sustainable future for the Grade 1 listed building where William Shakespeare is believed to have performed.

Earlier this week, the council's regeneration panel chairman, Judith Collingham told Radio Norfolk it was a huge blow which was disappointing after officials had worked hard on the high street fund bid.

Despite "licking their wounds", she emphasised it was important to be proactive in pursuing further applications for funding.

Mrs Collingham said: "It was crafted to appeal to the motion that this was something that had enormous potential and definitely the town needs regeneration.

"Whether you could have said there was another slant that could have been put on it, I couldn't possibly say. I must stress that a lot of towns missed out and I am sure everybody will be looking around to see what they could have done differently. [When] you go into a race, not everyone is going to win."

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