Historic Hanse House in King’s Lynn to be restored - plans include new waterfront restaurant, market and galleries
The businessman who has bought the last surviving Hanseatic building in Britain today outlined ambitious plans for its future.
Businessman James Lee hopes to breathe new life into the 650-year-old building and restore it once again to its former glory as a centre for trading and commerce at the heart of Lynn's waterfront.
His plans include an indoor market on the ground floor of the original Hanseatic warehouse incorporating the inner courtyard, a restaurant with views of the River Ouse, an art gallery, shops and offices.
'I am delighted to have been successful in my bid for the Hanse House,' said Mr Lee.
'I intend to restore the building as a whole and create an environment that will become an important hub for the local community.
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'The redevelopment of the quayside area is a very exciting project and I see the re-establishment of the Hanse House as a centre for trade as an important part of the project as a whole.
'With plans for the pontoon nearby in hand we will once again see visitors arriving by boat which I can see bringing economic benefits and boosting tourism to the area.'
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Built as a warehouse for Hanseatic merchants in what was a thriving port, in 1475, the property is the last surviving Hanse building in England.
It was bought by Norfolk County Council in 1971 and until recently housed Lynn's registry office. But parts of the building have fallen into disrepair in recent years.
Concerns over the state of the property reached Prince Charles, who in january visited the Grade 1 listed building to discuss its future with councillors.
The Prince said the building should not be allowed to fall into further disrepair and the Prince's Regeneration Trust, of whom the Prince of Wales is president, became involved in deciding its future.
Both the trust and English Heritage endorsed the decision to sell the building to Mr Lee, who lives in lynn and has worked on a number of development projects in the town in recent years.