Norwich campaigners vow to save community centre after launching £250,000 fundraising drive

PUBLISHED: 09:39 17 July 2012

Hilda Bullen, 84, at the Silver Rooms meeting last night.
Photo: Bill Smith

Hilda Bullen, 84, at the Silver Rooms meeting last night. Photo: Bill Smith


A Norwich community last night vowed to fight on in its efforts to save the city’s Silver Rooms and turn it into a community centre – by launching a £250,000 fundraising drive.

At a public meeting held at the Silver Road site, the Friends of the Silver Rooms asked members of the public what they thought should be the next stage in the campaign to take over the day centre and maintain it for the community.

Ian Gibson, who chaired the meeting, said: “We haven’t really been getting anywhere. You people are so important. You have got to say to us what you want and whether you want us to carry on fighting.”

The campaign was launched in 2009 when Norfolk County Council announced it planned to close the Silver Rooms and move users to other day centres. The Friends have now been offered a chance to buy the Silver Rooms for £80,000 – or £68,000 if they agree to a 79-year “clawback” clause – but believe the council should give it to the community for free.

But the county council has previously insisted it cannot simply give the building away and must try to get the best deal for taxpayers while also helping the community. At last night’s meeting it was resolved the Silver Rooms supporters would fight on.

They also decided to set up a fundraising committee to pay for any renovation of the building and, if necessary, to buy the building itself.

Closing the meeting, Dr Gibson said: “Everybody here has agreed to set up a fundraising committee.

“We will aim for £250,000 for a start which will ensure this building is passed over the community. We will also try once more to go to the county council and say, after this meeting, with the support that’s still there, they need to give it to us for free.”

A search will now begin for a high-profile patron to help launch the campaign and the Friends also hope to find volunteers to help drive the campaign forward – by setting up a website, completing grant applications and fundraising in the community. They also want to hear from community groups and organisations which would like to use the Silver Rooms for their activities. Contact Julie Brociek-Coulton on 07786 694325 or

Are working hard to support your community? Contact the Evening News reporting team on 07501 481521.


  • Norfolk County Council have "found" £600 million to buy what was RAF Coltishall and £2.5 million ,from the bank balances,for a road.They promised to protect vulnerable people too from the effect of the cuts..It's time they got their priorities right and backed the Silver Rooms.

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    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • If I badger the Council enough can I try to get something for free too? I've no problems with them buying the building, but if buildings are going for free I'd like County Hall. I hear it's due for a revamp.

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    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • For the small amount of people there £250,000 is a lot of money to raise. Where is the marketing strategy and the business plan to ensure the rooms if bought are sustainable? I think the politicians are stringing the users along just long enough for elections to come and go! It is a pity the rooms are set for closure. Are they really suitable for 21st century Norwich or are we trying to hang onto the past?

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    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • This building was given to the City it is said The County Council has declared it surplus to requirements How do you measure the value of a community service which is run by the people for the people when the Council clearly wants nothing to do with creating aCommunity Centre

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    No to tory boy

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • I wish the fundraisers all the best, hopefully they will eventually get outright control over the silver rooms, its their local facility. Duck and dive this is not a war between you and old people, if you need a creche, stop playing your brain numbing games and set one up with other mums, in the silver rooms. Mind you, they normally open in the mornings and you'll have to get the kids up for it.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • Don't old people get enough? TV licences, heating allowance, Council Tax concessions....I'm a single parent with 5 kids and I'd love free Sky to help occupy them, or maybe they could turn it into a free creche or youth facility. It's no joke, you try playing bingo online with Mr Tumble and 3 Nintendo DS's blaring out behind you.

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    Duck and Dive in NR5

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

  • Ingo you really are a condescending tool. Why should I set up a creche, I want to use one not run one, if I worked it would affect my benefits. And I play my games to keep my brain active, there is only so much CBeebies or Jeremy Kyle you can watch before you get bored. I used to buy scratchcards but I can't afford it now that Sky and fags have gone up, not to mention the bus fares to visit the old man in the nick.

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    Duck and Dive in NR5

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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


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