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Disused Thetford warehouse could get new life as museum and business space

PUBLISHED: 08:01 26 March 2014

The old Cosy Carpet building in Thetford which is going to be renovated to form part of the new bus station. These are a first look at two of the possible designs.

The old Cosy Carpet building in Thetford which is going to be renovated to form part of the new bus station. These are a first look at two of the possible designs.

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A disused warehouse which was at the centre of a controversial tug of war between its owner and Norfolk County Council could have an exciting future if plans go ahead.

Charles Burrell project gets name and funding

Last night’s meeting also heard that the project to revamp Charles Burrell High School had agreed a name and secured a £10,000 grant.

The project, to turn the disused former school site into a community resource, will be called the Charles Burrell Centre.

Councillor Terry Jermy also confirmed a £10,000 grant from the Social Investment Business (SIB) had been secured.

The town council’s solicitors are now looking at documentation for the building’s leasehold.

Councillors agreed last night that they should take on the building on an initial three-year lease.

The town council already has access to the building, and volunteers have been working to ready it for use.

The former Cosy Carpets building, on Minstergate, could be housing the Dad’s Army Museum, start-up businesses, apartments or a cafe if Thetford Town Council’s plans to take it on go forward.

The building is being taken on by Norfolk County Council as part of the Thetford Bus Interchange project.

At a meeting of Thetford Town Council last night, Mayor Stuart Wright said the town council had expressed an interest in taking on running of the building, with the next step to approach Moving Thetford Forward for £306,000 in funding.

He said: “We’re looking at the possibilities of utilising the building and I think there are a few interesting options.

“If done rightly, it could create an income stream for the town council,” he said.

In a report to councillors, a plan was outlined which would see the Dad’s Army Museum take up the bottom floor of the building, with an area to display vehicles from the series.

There would also be a cafe on the ground floor, with offices for start-up businesses or apartments on the first floor.

The county council would ensure the building’s roof and interior were in a good state of repair before the town council took on the building, according to Maurice Howard, clerk.

The building has been bought by the county council from its previous owner, Nolan Guthrie, after a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) was made last year.

That CPO was subject to an inquiry from a Government inspector after Mr Guthrie contested its terms. The inspector turned down Mr Guthrie’s appeal in November.

What would you like to see the warehouse used for? Let us know by emailing reporter Andrew Fitchett on andrew.fitchett@archant.co.uk

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