Historic Dragon Hall becomes home for Norwich Writers’ Centre

Dragon Hall Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dragon Hall Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014

A new chapter has been written into the life of the Writers' Centre in Norwich after it has completed a move to a new location.

The centre has completed the move to Norwich's historic Grade I listed Dragon Hall.

The flagship centre was set to be based in Gladstone House, in St Giles Street in what would have cost £8.5m, but it has been moved to the medieval hall costing the Writers Centre about £1.2m to set up home.

Chris Gribble, chief executive of the Writers' Centre said: 'This move presents us with a plethora of new possibilities including ambitious plans to develop a National Centre for Writing.

'But most importantly it cements the future of Dragon Hall as a cultural and heritage venue for the city.'

Over the summer the centre will review how to make the most use of the building to ensure that it provides regular access through a range of activities.

Dragon Hall will be open in September as part of the Heritage Open Days tours and will offer a year-round programme of regular literacy events ensuring the building continues as a public place for Norwich residents and visitors to enjoy.

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Mr Gribble said: 'Looking ahead in 2017 we plan to open as a National Centre for Writing.

We are continuing our fund-raising campaign in order to develop the already approved South Wing as an education space. Funding is also sought for renovation work on the building's infrastructure to secure Dragon Hall's long term future.'

The Dragon Hall located in King Street, Norwich is a medieval building dating back to around 1430.

Built by a merchant called Robert Toppes, it was used to display goods from home and abroad to other English and European merchants.

After Mr Toppes died, the building was adapted and divided to become a row of houses and businesses.

The site was bought by Norwich City Council in 1970 and was restored to its original state.

Have you got a story about a historic venue? Email Kieran.Lynch@archant.co.uk