Hopes of new lease of life for derelict pub in city

Sprowston Town Council has launched a public consultation after buying the Viking Centre

Sprowston Town Council (inset) has launched a public consultation after buying the Viking Centre - Credit: Archant/Sprowston Town Council

A neighbourhood is hoping to see a former pub and restaurant become an asset for the community after lying vacant for months. 

Sprowston Town Council has just launched a consultation for the Viking Centre - formerly known as the Royal Bengal Restaurant and Viking Public House - in Tills Road. 

The council has purchased the site which has been vacant since mid-2019 and has been targeted by vandals while it was boarded up in recent months. 

People living nearby have now been offered the opportunity to share their hopes for the site with the town council running drop-in consultation sessions this month.

Sprowston Town Council has purchased the Viking Centre in Tills Road

Sprowston Town Council has purchased the Viking Centre in Tills Road - Credit: Ben Hardy

Christian Martin, 49, lives opposite the building and used to play darts as an 18-year-old when the pub was still in existence.

He also used to run the deliveries for the Indian restaurant.

Mr Martin said: "It was a brilliant pub back in the day and used to be very busy. 

"I had a word with the council as I want it to be used for people living around here and the community as a whole."

A 3D artist's impression showing the proposed front of the Viking Centre looking north 

A 3D artist's impression showing the proposed front of the Viking Centre looking north - Credit: Paul Robinson Partnership

Luke Taylor, 41, also lives in Tills Road and believes the council's purchase is a positive step for Sprowston.

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Mr Taylor said: "It's been semi-derelict for far too long and it would be nice to see it used for something for the community to benefit from." 

The Viking Centre in Sprowston 

The Viking Centre in Sprowston - Credit: Ben Hardy

A 44-year-old woman, who has lived in Tills Road for 20 years and did not wish to be named, said a pub would no longer be appropriate for the area due to the amount of young families and children now living nearby.

She added: "There are not many places for youngsters to go around here so it does need something doing to it." 

Clare Lincoln, project leader of the Sprowston Youth Engagement Project, is among those interested in making use of the venue. 

Clare Lincoln is the project lead at SYEP

Clare Lincoln, SYEP project leader, is among those interested in making use of the Viking Centre - Credit: Clare Lincoln

Sprowston town clerk Guy Ranaweera: "The council's proposal for the former Viking pub is based on a survey of local community groups and a review of the facilities in the area.

"I am very pleased that to date, public responses to the consultation have been highly supportive."

The public consultation drop-in sessions will be held at the Viking Centre on Tuesday, January 18 from 10am to 1pm and Wednesday, January 19 from 6pm to 8pm.

The Viking Centre in Tills Road where signs for The Royal Bengal can still be seen 

The Viking Centre in Tills Road where signs for The Royal Bengal can still be seen - Credit: Ben Hardy

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