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Memorial Hall revamp costs could be cut by £55,000

PUBLISHED: 17:31 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:26 07 July 2010

A project to revamp Dereham's Memorial Hall could be cut back by £55,000 and the proposed bar moved into a building next door, councillors in the town have suggested.

A project to revamp Dereham's Memorial Hall could be cut back by £55,000 and the proposed bar moved into a building next door, councillors in the town have suggested.

Members of the markets and buildings committee on Dereham Town Council met on Tuesday night to discuss the project, previously estimated at costing £2.1million.

They agreed to propose to a meeting of the town council on November 10 that savings are made by axing a number of items from the scheme.

And also to explore the idea of moving a bar planned to be in the alleyway, which would become a glass covered area, to number 62 Norwich Street.

The alleyway could then become an art gallery area.

Cash savings to be put to the town council include axing sedum roofing on part of the hall, a more simply designed roof over the meeting room, reusing some kitchen equipment and cutting turrets no the roof which were discovered to be unnecessary.

Stage and lighting equipment could also be bought at a later stage to save cash and give time to see what equipment the hall would need.

Clerk Tony Needham said these changes would not affect the scheme dramatically and that they would all first have to be agreed by the full town council.

A planning application for the scheme has been submitted.

It includes a flat at the front of the building being knocked through to create a double height feature foyer and a new bar area under a glass roof being created down the length of the currently open alleyway to the left of the hall

This could also become a café and gallery area.

It would also see new toilets in an extension to the rear of the building and production and meeting rooms where the bar is now.

A grant application for £47,000 has been sent to Biffawards, the Landfill Communities Fund scheme, and the council hopes to receive £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as cash from Breckland Council.

The town council is also looking at taking out a loan to fund the work and selling some of its land at Fleece Meadow where there is planning permission for 14 flats.

It has been estimated that work could start in April/ May next year if planning permission for the hall works goes through.

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