Harleston Corn Exchange to go under the hammer

A landmark Norfolk building is up for sale again, this time with a guide price of �100,000 to �150,000.

The 3,000 sq ft Harleston Corn Exchange, which has been empty for several years, was open for a second viewing on Thursday before the auction by Brown and Co – on behalf of receivers – takes place on March 15 at the Assembly House in Norwich, at 11am.

Auction manager Trevor Blythe said only three interested parties turned up over the two open days.

There have been numerous attempts over the years to find a use for the former corn exchange.

Over its more than 160-year history, the building has served as a venue for second world war dances, regimental balls, a magistrates' court, and shopping arcade.

It last closed its doors in August 2005 after failing to make a profit as the Xchange, an ambitious enterprise which featured a restaurant, wine bar, function hall, art gallery, craft and antique shops and a delicatessen.

The corn exchange, which dates back to 1849 and was designed by Norwich architect John Bunn, received a major restoration in 2004 when its then owner, Mendham-based actor Brad Lavelle, transformed the derelict building into the stunning new Xchange.

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But a few months later, the venture closed leading to the loss of 20 jobs and the venue was put on the market in 2006 for about �600,000 and sold to an unnamed bidder.

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