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King’s Lynn Festival moves offices to King’s Lynn’s Guildhall of St George

PUBLISHED: 14:16 29 September 2017

The Guildhall of St George, formerly King's Lynn Arts Centre. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Guildhall of St George, formerly King's Lynn Arts Centre. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2016

King’s Lynn Festival has moved its office back to the range of historic buildings where the festival began in 1951.

The internationally-renowned annual feast of music and the arts – staged for two weeks every July – is now based in offices at the Fermoy Gallery adjacent to St George’s Guildhall on King Street.

The festival was started and established by Ruth, Lady Fermoy, to celebrate the restoration of the 15th Century Guildhall.

The largest surviving medieval guildhall in Britain, the complex extends back from King Street towards the river. It is one of two guildhalls in Lynn.

Lady Fermoy and her family restored and refurbished the gallery in the complex in memory of her husband, Lord Fermoy, who was MP and mayor of Lynn.

The Guildhall and surrounding buildings are owned by the National Trust but are leased by West Norfolk council, which is currently planning refurbishment and modernisation of the Guildhall and adjacent buildings in order to increase their use. A recent bid for lottery funding was turned down.

Festival chairman Alison Croose said: “We are delighted to work with the council in order to move our offices back to where the festival began.”

As part of the arrangement the festival will also manage bookings for the gallery spaces in the Guildhall complex which can be used for a variety of arts, corporate and community activities.

The buildings housed the King’s Lynn Arts Centre for a number of years. But in December 2015, the trust which ran it said it would be closing down because it was not financially viable.

Since then the complex has been closed but has re-opened for a number of events such as exhibitions.

Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, said: “This is an ideal arrangement.

“There is a natural synergy between King’s Lynn Festival and the Guildhall complex. Having a presence on site, managing the gallery bookings, will encourage more usage while we work on proposals for the overall complex.”

Any individual or organisation interested in hiring any of the spaces can call the festival office at 01553 767557, e-mail info@kingslynnfestival.org.uk or visit www.kingslynnfestival.org.uk.

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