Fund raising for �5 million Wells Maltings project set to start

The task of raising �5 million for a major renovation of a complex of historic community buildings in the heart of Wells is set to start after the project cleared another hurdle this week.

North Norfolk District Council's cabinet voted on Monday to allow the Wells Maltings Trust lease of additional land at a peppercorn rent.

The land is approximately the same size as the current Maltings building and is adjacent to it, at the site of the tourist information centre.

Project manager for the Wells Maltings development Becky Jefcoate said: 'This is great news and it means that we will now be able to start the fund raising.

'When we apply for grants people will now see how serious we are about this project and how much support it has from the council and people in the area.'

A new tourist information desk is included in the planned development of Wells Maltings and Sackhouse.

A museum, a major expansion of The Granary Theatre, a cafe, a viewing gallery overlooking the sea and youth facilities are also included in the plans which are outlined for completion in five years.

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Mrs Jefcoate, who was appointed as project manager in November and has previously worked head of marketing and education at the Bloomsbury Theatre and marketing manager for the Museum of London, said: 'Five million pounds is a lot of money to raise and this is a very ambitious project but it is also an incredibly exciting one that will have massive benefits for people in Wells and further afield.

'We will be making applications to Heritage Lottery and various other organisations and also hoping for some public donations.

'I really want to see the local community getting involved in this and we now have an office on Staithe Street next to The Maltings and anyone is welcome to come in to see the plans.'

People can also see the full plans on the website www.wellsmaltings.org.uk and follow the progress on the project's dedicated Facebook and Twitter pages.