A deal has finally been agreed to buy The Crown Hotel in Fakenham, which has been closed for more than three and a half years.

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Beverley Hedge, manager at London-based estate agents Currell Commercial, confirmed this week that contracts have been exchanged and the deal is due to be finalised on Monday.

She was unable to confirm who is buying The Crown or what the new owner’s plans for the building are, but said the buyer is based locally.

The Crown has been a forlorn sight in the centre of Fakenham’s Market Place since it closed in March 2009.

There had been much talk of it being reopened since then but all previous efforts have fallen through.

This week’s news has been welcomed by civic and business leaders in Fakenham.

Fakenham mayor Janet Holdom said: “This is really great news. Reopening The Crown will bring the heart and soul right back into the centre of Fakenham.

“It will be a real lift for the town, especially at this time of the year, coming up to Christmas.”

Steve Hall, co-founder of the Fakenham Area Business Community (FABCOM) said: “The Crown has been closed for far too long.

“To see that place open again would be great for visitors and it would have a positive knock-on effect for local traders.”

Rector of Fakenham, Rev Adrian Bell said: “The Crown is in a key part of the town centre.

“Having it reopened would breath new life into Fakenham and could help to regenerate the whole town.”

The 17th century 11-bedroom Crown Hotel was once valued at more than £1m.

But the building suffered severe flood damage caused by a burst pipe last winter.

We reported in September that it was up for sale for just £325,000.

Details have not been released on the price that it is being sold for.

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