The frame of a prominent seaside museum and café which is “heavily corroding” after getting battered by storms needs serious restoration work if it is to survive into the future. 

The Rocket House building in Cromer, which is owned by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC), requires “substantial repairs” a report to councillors has revealed. 

While the property, which sits on the east promenade, is owned by the authority, sections are leased to a cafe and the RNLI Henry Blogg Museum. 

Eastern Daily Press: From the balcony of the Rocket House cafeFrom the balcony of the Rocket House cafe (Image: Archant © 2008)

The building is around 16 years old and has already been through two storm surges and sea flooding events in 2007 and 2013. 

This has led to damp, particularly in the museum, with artefacts left damaged. 

Other issues in the building include:  

  • Radiators and associated pipework, which is encased in concrete, are corroding causing leaks 
  • Windows need replacing.  
  • The public lift is at the end of its "economic life" and needs replacing 
  • Balcony supports are corroding 
  • Gas boilers need replacing 

Aluminium doors in the café area have recently been replaced at a cost of around £20,000 due to the complete failure of frames and hinges.

Officials at NNDC said the work had been carried out urgently because they posed a health and safety risk. 

The council has not revealed what plans it has for the building, saying doing so could reveal commercially sensitive information about its tenants.

The report, which will be discussed by NNDC's cabinet on Monday, warned the building is likely to need “further investment” in the future. 

Eastern Daily Press: Rocket House RNLI museum and cafeRocket House RNLI museum and cafe (Image: Archant Norfolk Photographic / James Bass)

Officials added: “Even with a comprehensive repair programme the life cycle of the building components are likely to be shorter due to this vulnerable coastal location.” 

The report also said the council has considered making a claim from the construction contractor over the damp defect, but this has not been successful. 

A £1m fund for the work was set in the council’s 2023/24 budget.