Anglia Square ‘love story’ project awarded £52,000 National Lottery money

Anglia Square.

Anglia Square. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A team of volunteers is sought to help celebrate the history of Anglia Square, after a community project was awarded a National Lottery grant of more than £50,000.

Simon Floyd, director of Norwich-based theatre company The Common Lot. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSimon Floyd, director of Norwich-based theatre company The Common Lot. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

On the day that controversial proposals for a £271m revamp of the shopping complex were given approval by Norwich City Council, lottery bosses announced a grant for city-based theatre company The Common Lot.

The company has been given £51,800 for its ‘Anglia Square: A Love Story’ heritage project, which will investigate and celebrate the history of the Anglia Square area.

Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project will see The Common Lot working with researchers at Anglia Ruskin University and recruiting a group of volunteers to investigate three areas.

They will look at the long history of the area from Viking settlers to the Victorians; the planning decisions of the 1960s and the taking of oral testimonies those who have lived and worked there over the past 40 years.

They will use what they uncover to create a community choir, writing and singing original songs, putting on a True Stories Live event in June and a free, original, outdoor community theatre show due to coincide with the Lord Mayor’s celebration weekend in July.

The money will also support work with three primary schools, a song book and a heritage publication.

Director Simon Floyd said: “We are very grateful to Lottery Players for making this project possible. It’s seems right and proper at this time of radical upheaval for the area that we are doing this now.

“People need a sense of the place through time, so we can mark its transition and acknowledge how important the area is in the city’s history – a history that has essentially been hidden to most.”

The Anglia Square development from overhead. Pic: Weston Homes.The Anglia Square development from overhead. Pic: Weston Homes.

Volunteers are sought and an open meeting will be held at the Octagon Chapel in Colegate at 7pm on Thursday, December 13. Work on the project is due to start in the new year.

Weston Homes has been granted permission to revamp Anglia Square. The scheme includes 1,234 new homes, a leisure quarter with a cinema, car parks, a 200-bed hotel, the tower block and a new home for Surrey Chapel.

But a final decision could rest with the communities secretary.

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