A mental health charity is desperately searching for a new home after plans to turn a derelict tennis court into a vibrant community space were scrapped by a town council.

Cromer Community Shed, which offers a safe space to help people with their mental health, was left “hurt” when Cromer Town Council pulled out of a project to redevelop a rundown section of the town’s North Lodge Park last month.

The charity had been working with the town council to develop the plans for almost three years, which would have seen the abandoned tennis courts and a 1950s bandstand demolished to make way for a multi-use space – including a new permanent home for the community shed.

It currently shares a space with the charity About With Friends at a unit in Middlebrook Way.

Eastern Daily Press: Cromer Community Shed members and volunteersCromer Community Shed members and volunteers (Image: Cromer Community Shed)

Richard Wall, founder and chairman of Cromer Community Shed, said the charity’s volunteers and members were “hurt and angry” by the town council’s decision to pull the plug on the project.

“There was no consultation despite us working with them for almost three years,” Mr Wall said.

“It came as a huge shock and it has damaged morale as we all thought we had this in the pocket, but for it to fall through the way it did was devastating for everyone involved.

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“The primary purpose of the Cromer Community Shed is to help people with their mental health. I see people come to the shed each week and grow in confidence.

“We want our own premises so we can open during the week and help more people.”

The shed has 14 members and dozens of regulars, but it is currently only open on the second and fourth Saturday each month.

Eastern Daily Press: Members of the Cromer Community ShedMembers of the Cromer Community Shed (Image: Cromer Community Shed)

The North Lodge Park scheme was given the green light by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) in September last year.

The tennis courts on the 0.35-acre site have been unused for more than two decades, and the plans would have seen it become a flexible community space to host pop-up markets, events, a horticultural hub, new public toilets and the community shed.

However, the town council said it was “unable to commit to the costs involved” in bringing the project to life.

Eastern Daily Press: An artists' impression of what the revamped tennis court area of North Lodge Park in Cromer could have looked likeAn artists' impression of what the revamped tennis court area of North Lodge Park in Cromer could have looked like (Image: Friends of North Lodge Park)

A Cromer Town Council spokesperson said: “We are extremely disappointed that we are unable to deliver this project knowing the need for toilets at this end of the town along with the facilities that a community hub would offer, but feel at this point in time we are unable to commit to the costs involved in the infrastructure and construction of this facility.

“We understand that this is disappointing to the various groups we were working with and we wish them well with their future endeavours."

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Eastern Daily Press: The derelict tennis courts at North Lodge Park in CromerThe derelict tennis courts at North Lodge Park in Cromer (Image: ALLY McGILVRAY)

Rick Goldsmith, of Cromer Community Shed, said the charity has enough volunteers and funding but has now been left without a permanent home.

“It was an ideal solution for us, but it’s now history,” Mr Goldsmith said.

“We have the manpower and the funding, but just no premises.

“It was a missed opportunity by the council and we’re now really struggling to find a permanent home in Cromer or the surrounding areas.

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“It’s a plea for help not only for us but for the community. Amongst our members we’ve got veterans suffering from PTSD, elderly people and younger people.

“It’s a real crossover of generations and a safe space for everyone. Everyone has their own tapestry of skills to share.

“Men are notorious for being reserved and not coming forward, so it helps them to open up. People can be reserved in the first few weeks, but once they come out of their shells they are a joy to be with.”

To support or become a member of Cromer Community Shed, email cromeranddistrictmensshed@gmail.com, or contact chairman Richard Wall on 07809 627529, or Rick Goldsmith on 07710 887140