Plans for community building in Sprowston

Plans are under way to try to secure the future of a community building in Sprowston, which is due to close at the end of August,

The Norfolk County Council-owned Integrated Youth Support Development Centre in School Lane has fallen victim to public service cuts.

Now, Sprowston Parish Council is hoping to acquire the building and provide a much-needed community centre.

Parish councillor Chris Noble said: 'There is so much potential there and so many things we can do with it if we could be successful in acquiring the site.'

He said some community groups already use the building, including a play group and youth club, and the hope was that if the building was taken over by the council, it would be used by even more local people.

'There has long been a need for a community facility like this in Sprowston,' he said. The 19th century building originally housed an elementary school.

Parish clerk June Hunt said: 'Being one of the few structures of historic interest left in the parish this is a wonderful opportunity to save Sprowston's heritage and provide a much-needed community facility.

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'The building itself has great potential with numerous rooms, a large car park and adjacent playing field, which could provide for a range of activities available for use by both individuals and local groups.

'The parish council has submitted an expression of interest and is preparing a business case, to be presented to Norfolk County Council at their June meeting, to facilitate the retention and utilisation of this building for the benefit of our residents. The council must identify potential users and would like to hear from anyone who would be interested in the amenities this proposal could offer.'

County council spokesman Kate Gooding said: 'The building is due to close on August 31 and will then be handed over to the council's property division for sale. We have already said that we are keen for community groups and local councils to come forward if they are interested in taking on buildings that will become empty as a result of budget decisions and local councillors are keen to support the community with this in whatever way they can.'

Anybody interested in the project should contact June Hunt on 0845 0046227.

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