Town council losing more than £1000 a week due to Covid

The Memorial Hall in Dereham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Memorial Hall in Dereham. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A Norfolk town council is losing more than £1000 of income each week due to coronavirus. 

Dereham Town Council would normally generate income by hiring out the town’s Memorial Hall and Assembly Rooms to community groups, but coronavirus has pushed groups online or suspended their meetings.  

The council has also lost out from the market being reduced to food stalls only - as stalls pay a toll to operate there. 

Even with the reduced heating and lighting costs, town clerk Tony Needham estimates that the Memorial Hall alone is losing about £4000 per month. 

At a Tuesday meeting of the council’s finance committee, Mr Needham said interest in hall bookings had increased since the lockdown-easing roadmap announcement

“We’re starting to get some interest... but I can’t see it picking up until there’s some certainty going into autumn. I think Dereham Theatre Company is looking at doing a panto, but not doing an autumn show,” he said. 

District and county councillor for part of Dereham, Phillip Duigan. Picture: Breckland Council

District and county councillor for part of Dereham, Phillip Duigan. Picture: Breckland Council - Credit: Archant


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However, councillor Phillip Duigan cautioned that, despite the vaccine’s success, social distancing may return next winter. 

“We have to be wary of that - even though we hope it will be OK, I think there’s a touch wood there,” said Mr Duigan.  

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