Mystery buyer steps in for former live music hot spot

A mystery buyer has been found for the Ferry Boat Inn in Norwich Picture: Victoria Pertusa

A mystery buyer has been found for the Ferry Boat Inn in Norwich Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

It was once the go to place for aspiring artists to get their first experiences of live music, providing a launch pad for singers, bands and performers.

A mystery buyer has been found for the Ferry Boat Inn in Norwich Picture: Victoria Pertusa

A mystery buyer has been found for the Ferry Boat Inn in Norwich Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

Few places in Norwich created more opportunities for new musicians to learn their trade than the Ferry Boat Inn on King Street, which for decades positioned itself at the very epicentre of the city's live music scene.

However, for more than a decade it has been a shell of its former self - vacant and devoid of life, with a bid to turn it into backpackers hostel never coming to fruition.

For the past three years, planning permission has been in place to convert the site into homes, making use of land joining the site to deliver more than 40 properties.

Despite this permission having been granted in October 2016 though, real estate agency Savills has been unable to find a developer to purchase the site, which has been on the market for £1.375m.


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Now though, the site's future has moved a step closer to being sealed, with the agency confirming that a buyer has been found for the beloved former pub.

However, with the three year period of planning permission applied to the site due to expire on Saturday, the deal is dependent on new consent being granted.

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A spokesman for Savills said: "The pub is still under offer and will be sold subject to a new planning application being submitted."

The spokesman, however, was unable to disclose details of just who the mystery buyer is.

Music fans protest outside City Hall as the owners of the Ferry Boat, Yvonne and Alan Thorpe prepare

Music fans protest outside City Hall as the owners of the Ferry Boat, Yvonne and Alan Thorpe prepare to present thier case for an entertainments license to councillors.Photo: Simon FinlayCopy: For: EDP/EEN newsEDP pics © 2005(01603) 772434 - Credit: Archant © 2005

In October 2016, permission was granted to redevelop the site to provide 41 homes, which would have seen the pub building demolished and a mixture of houses and flats built on the site.

However, with this due to lapse, it remains to be seen whether the mystery buyer will seek to produce a similar plan or whether it has an alternative vision for the site.

The pub itself has not been in operation since 2006, when it closed amid promises of refurbishment. However, it never reopened.

In its life as a music venue the pub hosted a variety of artists in early stages of their careers, including Frank Turner, Bring Me The Horizon and Norwich favourites Bearsuit.

Picture shows old photo of the Ferry Boat, when it was the Steam Packet, taken from Riverside road l

Picture shows old photo of the Ferry Boat, when it was the Steam Packet, taken from Riverside road looking at the rear of the pubFor ENCopy: Derek James

Alan Thorpe, landlord of The Ferry Boat pub on Kings Street which is due to close after 30 years of

Alan Thorpe, landlord of The Ferry Boat pub on Kings Street which is due to close after 30 years of being a live music venue.Picture: James BassCopy: Tara GreavesFor: EDP NEWSEDP Pics © 2006 Tel: (01603) 772434 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2006

The Ferry Boat public house, on King Street in Norwich.<PIC by Natasha Lyster - COPY by Paul Hill><1

The Ferry Boat public house, on King Street in Norwich. <PIC by Natasha Lyster - COPY by Paul Hill> <13-1-02> edp 14/1/2002

Norwich -- PubsThe Ferry Inn Boat, King StreetDated --8 December 1983Photograph C1900

Norwich -- PubsThe Ferry Inn Boat, King StreetDated --8 December 1983Photograph C1900

Norwich pubs: The Ferry Inn, King Street, taken December 1985.

Norwich pubs: The Ferry Inn, King Street, taken December 1985. - Credit: Archant

Norwich -- PubsThe Ferry Boat, King Street Dated -- 9 August 1993Photograph C1842 Folkes

Norwich -- PubsThe Ferry Boat, King Street Dated -- 9 August 1993Photograph C1842 Folkes

Adrenochrome playing at the final live gig at the Ferry Boat in King Street, Norwich.Photo: Bill Smi

Adrenochrome playing at the final live gig at the Ferry Boat in King Street, Norwich.Photo: Bill SmithCopy: Sarah HallFor: ENArchant © 2006(01603) 772434 - Credit: Archant © 2006

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