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Woman who grew up in Gayton takes up new role at King’s Lynn’s St George’s Guildhall to share passion for heritage





A former Gayton woman has taken up a new role as part of the team hoping to breathe new life into one of Lynn’s most treasured gems.

Jane Hamilton has been appointed by West Norfolk Council as the new learning and engagement officer at St George’s Guildhall and Creative Hub.

She joins creative director Tim Fitzhigham as the regeneration and refurbishment element of the project gets under way.

Jane Hamilton is the new learning and engagement officer at St George's Guildhall and Creative Hub. Picture: West Norfolk Council
Jane Hamilton is the new learning and engagement officer at St George's Guildhall and Creative Hub. Picture: West Norfolk Council

Jane will also continue the work of PEACH West Norfolk (a Partnership for Education, Arts, Culture and Heritage), to engage young people in the topics across the borough.

Jane said she was “very excited” to be taking up the role.

“Being a local girl, I strongly feel that the rich heritage of Lynn should be enjoyed by the local community,” Jane added.

St George's Guildhall has a unique link with Shakespeare in that the Bard possibly performed at the venue in 1593
St George's Guildhall has a unique link with Shakespeare in that the Bard possibly performed at the venue in 1593

“I am looking forward to building strong connections with local schools and community groups to bring the history of St George’s Guildhall alive for the next generation, but also to ensure that they themselves are a part of the continuing story of the Guildhall.

“The learning programme I am developing will align with the ambitious and exciting vision underpinning the regeneration plan. There will be engaging schools workshops, collaborative projects and fun family activities.

“After 13 years of teaching, I made the decision to pursue my dream of working in heritage education, and if I can inspire the young people of Lynn to feel as passionate and excited about the local heritage as I do, then I feel I will have achieved something very special.”

Jane grew up in Gayton before completing a PGCE in Primary Education at the University of East Anglia and teaching in Norfolk schools.

During this time, she welcomed her three daughters and settled with her family near Dereham.

She is currently studying for a postgraduate degree in Museum Education with Glasgow University, alongside volunteering as a Girlguiding leader.

Vicky Etheridge, vice chair of the town deal board and project champion, said: “As the new Town Deal Board Champion for the St George’s Guildhall project, welcoming Jane to the team feels like a huge step forward.

“The Guildhall has such a magnificent heritage and so many stories to share, I am really looking forward to seeing how these will be creatively brought to life for people, especially young people, to enjoy.”

Cllr James Moriarty, deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is a really exciting phase of the project.

“While the physical work on the fabric of the building is being planned in the background, Jane will be working hard to develop a future audience for the venue, inspiring people and creating a buzz about arguably one of Lynn’s most famous and yet-to-be-fully-understood heritage assets.”

The Guildhall is the country’s oldest working theatre and the only theatre still surviving in which Shakespeare is believed to have performed.

The St George’s Guildhall and Creative Hub project, which is led by West Norfolk Council, has secured just over £8m from the Government’s Town’s Fund, and aims to transform the Guildhall and surrounding buildings into a nationally important cultural heritage site at the heart of Lynn’s arts and culture scene.

The project aims to turn it into a welcoming, flexible and accessible place with a varied programme of cultural, performances and art-based experiences and opportunities.

The project forms part of the King’s Lynn Town Investment Plan. It is led by West Norfolk Council, in partnership with Norfolk Museums Service in collaboration with the National Trust.

This role has been made possible thanks to two successful funding applications: The UK shared Prosperity Fund and the Norfolk and Norwich Festival (Connect and Create).



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