Businessman and councillor Richard Searle’s funeral will be held at St Mary’s Church, in Old Hunstanton

The funeral of a leading businessman and councillor will be held next week.

Richard Searle, chairman of Hunstanton-based Searles Leisure Group, died on March 14, aged 66, on a flight home from a holiday abroad.

Mr Searle, who was made an MBE for his services to the tourism industry, was a member of Hunstanton town and West Norfolk councils, serving the latter as cabinet member for regeneration.

His funeral will be held at St Mary's Church, Old Hunstanton, on Thursday (2.30pm). It will be followed by a private cremation.

There will be a wake at Heacham Manor Hotel, Heacham, from 3.30pm.

A fundraising night for the chosen charity of West Norfolk Mayor Zipha Christopher due to take place on Friday has been posponed.

Mr Searle had organised a race night at Hunstanton Town Hall to raise funds for West Norfolk Young Carers.

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The charity committee, of which Mr Searle was a member, said: 'Richard's hard work and contribution to the mayor's charity fund will be sadly missed.

'His death will leave a great void for his family and the people of West Norfolk.'