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Cash bid for Dereham hall dream scheme

PUBLISHED: 13:17 08 July 2009 | UPDATED: 15:17 07 July 2010

DEREHAM town bosses are set to launch a bid to raise £2.1m to pay for the dream scheme they've drawn up for the town's Memorial Hall.

A meeting of the council's finance committee was brought forward by two weeks to Tuesday night to discuss the plans, agreed by another committee of the council last month after consultation with key users of the building.

DEREHAM town bosses are set to launch a bid to raise £2.1m to pay for the dream scheme they've drawn up for the town's Memorial Hall.

A meeting of the council's finance committee was brought forward by two weeks to Tuesday night to discuss the plans, agreed by another committee of the council last month after consultation with key users of the building.

It would a total revamp of the hall with a double height front foyer, a glass covered bar area, new toilets in an extension at the back and new production and kitchen areas.

In order to raise the cash needed for the work the finance committee agreed to recommend the council should put a small piece of land at Fleece Meadow, behind the Norwich Street hall, on the market.

Two properties the council owns close to the hall, at 58 and 62 Norwich Street, would be put on the market at a later date.

Both were bought over the last three to four years in order to extinguish access rights, which belonged to the properties, and would have hampered the refurbishment of the hall.

It was also agreed to recommend that grant applications be made to two Biffaward and the Heritage Lottery.

However, even if these were successful there would still be a “significant shortfall”, said town clerk Tony Needham, which it is hoped they could get help from Breckland Council for.

Failing this the project would need to be cut back, reducing the benefits to the town, said Mr Needham, or the council would have to increase the council tax by £5 per year to fund it or take out a loan.

Mr Needham added that the hall serves not only a large population in Dereham but the whole of the north of the Breckland district.

John Gretton, chairman of the finance committee, said: “I'm delighted that the committee was unanimous in backing a proposed package to recommend to full council next week.”

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