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Call for community to back Norwich centre which was saved for the public

PUBLISHED: 06:29 14 July 2014

The Silver Rooms in Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

The Silver Rooms in Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Campaigners who fought a long-running campaign to turn a former Norwich day centre into a community centre have urged the community to come together to make it a success.

The Silver Rooms, in the north of the city, used to be home to day services for elderly people, but that was stopped after Norfolk County Council decided to shake-up social care.

Following that decision, campaigners battled to stop the county council from selling off the building, in Silver Road, so it could be safeguarded for use by the local community.

The Friends of the Silver Rooms was set up, spearheaded by trustees including former Norwich North MP Ian Gibson and Julie Brociek-Coulton, Labour city and county councillor, to try to turn it into a community centre.

Their battle was won in March, after the county council agreed the group can lease the building for a peppercorn rent for the next 25 years and transform it for community use.

But the campaigners are now trying to get the Silver Rooms ship-shape for groups to use and is holding an open day this weekend to gauge who is interested in using it and for what.

Ms Brociek-Coulton said: “We are opening up so everyone can come along to see what we are going to be doing. We are going to have a wish board for people to say what they want to see happening in the Silver Rooms.

“We have got some acts lined up, including entertainer Olly Day and schoolchildren who will be singing. There will also be stalls from some of the people who have taken part in the running of the rooms.”

With work going on to get the Silver Rooms refitted, she added: “In terms of what we are going to be doing in the future, we will have the community cafe open by next Sunday, with the old kitchen having been taken out.”

While the group is applying for grants, Ms Brociek-Coulton said the trustees would welcome any financial assistance and were also keen to hear from anybody who wanted to become a trustee.

The open day will take place at the Silver Rooms from midday until 5pm on Sunday.

People who want to get involved can call 07786 694325, email j.brociekcoulton@cllr.norwich.gov.uk or visit www.facebook.com/SilverRoadCommunityCentre

• Are you fighting to get a community campaign off the ground? Tell us about it by calling Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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