As West Norfolk Council consider the next steps for the St George’s Guildhall complex in Lynn, results of the public consultation have been released.
The consultation, which took place between September 9 and October 6, aimed to collect the opinions of the local community in relation to the future use of the complex to be a “sustainable part of Lynn”.
The council’s regeneration and development panel are currently in the process of developing proposals to be submitted for a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The original proposals included: the installation of a lift and improved access; returning the Guildhall to flat floor multi-use space with flexible seating; and linking the buildings with a new glass structure.
More than 350 people completed a survey on this matter, and the most important factor identified was that the complex should be a place for entertainment and enjoyment of visual arts.
Ensuring the complex was a place for enjoying heritage and culture was also agreed to be of importance.
Respondents felt that the most important area in relation to the Guildhall complex is the conservation of the buildings – both interior and exterior.
Additional comments from those surveyed indicated that they wanted the Guildhall to remain as a theatre.
As part of the consultation process, an open meeting was also held with those who currently use the complex, in particular the Guildhall.
The council’s report states that: “It is fair to say that the proposals were subject to a generally negative response, particularly with regard to any reduction in seating numbers in the Guildhall.”
The report goes on to say that at a follow-up meeting, draft proposals for the Guildhall were broadly agreed as “satisfying user needs” by current users.
Findings from the consultation also suggested that the Guildhall complex was not being used to its full potential.
The regeneration and development panel is set to discuss the Guildhall proposals at a meeting on Wednesday next week.
If progress is made with these proposals, then the panel will aim to submit a Stage One application to the Heritage Lottery Fund by Monday, November 28.