Have your say on the future of King’s Lynn’s Guildhall complex

Visitor Guide Images for 2011''Arts Centre ENGANL00120130509164510
Visitor Guide Images for 2011''Arts Centre ENGANL00120130509164510

If you have a strong view on what should be next for Lynn’s Guildhall complex then this is your chance have it heard before public consultation closes.

West Norfolk Council is seeking views on how access to and usage of the complex could be increased to create a sustainable future for these National Trust buildings.

Representatives from Focus Consultants are holding a public consultation event in The Shakespeare Barn at the Guildhall complex, which takes place between 10am and 4pm on Sunday, and coincides with the town’s Heritage Open Day.

Residents and visitors will be able to look at plans showing potential options, chat with consultants and fill in a questionnaire.

A further event will take place in the Committee Suite in the council offices on Tuesday, September 13 at 7pm, where a brief presentation of options will be given and people will have the chance to ask questions.

Places at this session are limited and must be pre-booked by calling Sam King on 01553 616335.

The purpose of these events is to help put together a first stage bid for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the bid for which has to be submitted by November 28 this year.

Councillor Elizabeth Nockolds, cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, said: “The complex has not been used much at all since the Arts Centre Trust disbanded. Even prior to that usage was low. This is a really significant building complex which we lease from the National Trust. We want to improve access to and usage of these wonderful buildings and are hopeful that we can get support to make changes through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“In putting our funding bid together, it is important that we get a wide range of views so that these can be considered as we develop the plans. I would urge people to get involved with one of the consultation activities.”

Questionnaires will be sent direct to user groups and hirers of the venues to ensure their input is included.

Feedback from the consulation events will be used to inform and develop the bid.

Anyone unable to attend either of these events can view background information on the council’s Have Your Say pages and complete the online questionnaire by visiting www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/haveyoursay. The closing date for the consultation is Friday, September 30.

Earlier in the year, West Norfolk Council outlined plans for the King Street site which included a £2.25 million revamp and up to a 30 per cent cut to seating capacity in the Arts Centre’s main auditorium.

Other proposals included the installation of a new lift to improve wheelchair access, as well as the removal of the current seating and sloping floor from the Guildhall.

The future of the site has been questioned since King’s Lynn Arts Centre Trust closed part of it which housed a series of galleries in December last year, when the trust said it was no longer “financially viable” to continue the “adventure”.