Campaigners fighting to save a historic Norwich landmark have won a small victory with the building being granted extra protection.

County Hall is planning to sell off Wensum Lodge in the city centre, which has caused outrage among members of the local community who want the adult education centre to remain.

The authority’s plans, however, may be scuppered with the building being given ‘Asset of Community Value’ (ACV) status by Norwich City Council. 

This would give the community six months to come up with a bid to purchase the site before the Conservative-controlled county council can sell it on the open market. 

But County Hall insists that it will not stop it from marketing the property.

The county authority has insisted the sale is necessary because the lodge is too large, with courses increasingly run online.  

Generations of adults have been taught maths and English, as well as skills like silversmithing and pottery, at the site since it opened in the 1960s. 

Eastern Daily Press: Jane Overhill has led the campaign for LabourJane Overhill has led the campaign for Labour (Image: Supplied)

The ACV bid was submitted by Labour activist, Jane Overhill, after fears were raised by campaigners that it will result in many courses coming to an end. 

She said the move was not “a solution in itself” but helps buy time, and along with petitions, shows the local strength of feeling. 

“It only gives the community a right to bid, not a right to buy, but at least it means we have to be told what is going on and there can’t be a secret sale," she said.

“We’re not easily going to let Wensum Lodge or adult education people value so highly fall victim to mismanagement, cuts and asset stripping.” 

Eastern Daily Press: Steve Morphew, leader of the Labour groupSteve Morphew, leader of the Labour group (Image: Archant)

Leader of Norfolk County Labour group Steve Morphew added that he hoped County Hall Conservatives would respond positively. 

Ben Price, Green city and county councillor for the Thorpe Hamlet - which covers the King Street area – said he was “delighted” and the community has an opportunity to protect the site. 

A county council spokesman said: "We don’t anticipate this impacting our plans for the Wensum Lodge site as we intend to keep the site operational until December 2023, with any potential sale taking place after that.”