Historic Norwich building could be sold to provide County Hall cash boost

Carrow House.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Carrow House.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

An historic city building, which used to house the county's collection of costumes and textiles, could be sold off to net millions of pounds for the county council.

Grade II-listed Carrow House, in King Street is one of almost a dozen buildings around the county declared 'surplus' to Norfolk County Council's requirements.

The building, which dates back to the 19th century and features a large conservatory built by former city manufacturers Boulton & Paul, is currently used by the council's social services department.

It was home to Norfolk Museums Services' costumes and textiles collection before that moved to the Shirehall in 2011. The site also features newer buildings.

But, moving council staff to County Hall will save £430,000 a year, while selling or developing the site would, officers, say mean a 'significant' capital receipt.

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Ian Mackie, Conservative councillor for Thorpe St Andrew, said: 'With Carrow House, there must be several million potentially tied up in there.'

Officers said the location was likely to spark plenty of interest. Feasibility studies will now be commissioned to determine future options.

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The nearby King Street Stores, which the council also owns, has also been declared as surplus. Officers say its riverside location could make that an attractive opportunity for property developers.

Another city property deemed surplus to requirements is the Essex Rooms in the Golden Triangle. There has been interest in turning that into a community centre, as happened with the Silver Rooms in the north of the city.

• What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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