A former city day centre has been removed from an auction after campaigners secured extra time to keep it for the community.

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The Silver Rooms, in Silver Road, had been given a guide price of £75,000-plus and was due to be available at an auction on Thursday, February 14.

But the Norfolk County Council-owned building has been added to Norwich City Council’s asset of community value list.

This means community groups have until March 15 to express an interest in the site. If a bid is judged to be valid then a further six months will be made available for groups to raise cash – before it then goes to auction.

The Friends of the Silver Rooms have been campaigning for more than three years to secure the future of the building as a community centre to be used by people of all ages.

They have successfully applied for the Silver Rooms to be put on the community value list after struggling to raise the money to purchase it from the county council for £80,000.

The Friends asked for the centre to be given to them for free, although were later given the option to pay £80,000 over three years or a reduced price of £68,000 if they agreed to a 79-year clawback clause. This would have ensured any profits of a future sale would be split between the group and the council.

The Friends opted for the £80,000 option and were given until December 20 last year to put down a deposit of approximately £2,600, and January 4 to pay the first instalment of around £26,000.

Cliff Jordan, county council cabinet member for efficiency, said: “The guide price was suggested by the auctioneer which is set at a level to attract interest. Norfolk County Council and the auctioneer then agreed on that price which is standard practice.”

Ian Gibson, former Norwich North MP and Friends of the Silver Rooms committee chairman, previously said: “We have ideas for developing the centre. It would, in my view, be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, such is the demand.

“We have a business plan and know after the first six months it will be well supported, the money will come in and we will keep up the payments.”

3 comments

  • The silver rooms have always been used for local community work and it is inconceivable that they are flogged off by a cabinet member who's business sense is, if at all, non existent. These community facilities are like kettles, always bubbling, at the heart of the community just as the school further up, so this issue should hopefully be resolved after this coming May, when Cllr. Jordan will have to stand up and be counted for his past record. Good luck to all for making it work and thanks to Ian Gibson for giving his time for such a worthy cause.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • I know this building very well, I live nearby , I met my first girlfriend there when it was a church youth club. appalled when it was closed as a dining club for old folks, doubly appalled with Jordons attitude regarding the future of the building surly as could be offered for community use for a peppercorn rent

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    Melvyn Parkerson

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

  • Isn't this just typical of Jordan and NCC sell the Silver Rooms, something which was so important to the community then buy RAF Coltishall, which is no good to anyone apart from his business friends.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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