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King's Lynn campaigners set for new talks with council

Further discussions are set to take place over the future of the St George's Guildhall
Further discussions are set to take place over the future of the St George's Guildhall

Fresh talks are set to take place between council chiefs and campaigners over the future of Lynn’s St George’s Guildhall.

The move comes after hundreds packed into a public meeting at the King Street site last month, called by the Shakespeare’s Guildhall Trust (SGT).

And access for disabled people is likely to be high on the agenda after the issue was raised during public questions at Thursday’ West Norfolk Council meeting.

SGT member Michael de Whalley said one wheelchair user could not be accommodated at their meeting and urged the authority, which leases the building from the National Trust, to work with them on a priority of ensuring access for all.

Council deputy leader Elizabeth Nockolds said it was “good news” that the SGT was keen to resolve what she acknowledged was a long-running problem.

She said: “I’ve always been keen to have the guildhall accessible to all. The cost of installing a lift is around £300,000. The debate about how to build it has been ongoing since 1999.

“In 2016 when the borough council applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for restoration funding, the life was included in the plan.”

But Mr de Whalley also asked whether a temporary solution could be found in the interim, as users of the current system often found it “painful and humiliating.”

Mrs Nockolds said the issue would be looked at and admitted the current situation was not acceptable.

But she added: “At the time when we haven’t got budgets to use for lifts that make it easier for people to visit the guildhall that is the only means we have at the moment.”

Mrs Nockolds also stressed there was "no way" the site would be sold, despite it being listed as an asset of community value.

She said: "It's important for the Shakespeare's Guildhall Trust to know we feel that building is important that it will remain for everyone to use in the future."

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