Fate of printing museum to be decided after campaigners ship in big hitter to join fight for its future

John Jarrold Printing Museum will be on the move if plans for 218 homes off Barrack Street are appro

John Jarrold Printing Museum will be on the move if plans for 218 homes off Barrack Street are approved Pictures:SONYA BROWN - Credit: Archant

Campaigners will today learn whether their last-ditch attempt to save a city museum in its current form was successful.

Land off Barrack Street, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Land off Barrack Street, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

City councillors will today (Thursday) decide whether to grant permission to Hill Residential Ltd to build more than 200 homes on a site off Barrack Street in Norwich.

These plans would see the existing home of the John Jarrold Printing Museum at Whitefriars demolished and exhibits moved to a new location on site.

However, campaigners are hoping the chairman of a national society can persuade councillors to refuse the scheme – and have raised funds themselves to get him here.

More than £300 has been raised towards the travel expenses of Paul Nash, chairman of the Printing Historical Society, to make the 300-mile round trip from his Gloucestershire home to speak in favour of preserving the museum as it is.

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Jules Allen, of the John Jarrold Printing Museum steering committee, said: 'Although the museum was originally formed to preserve part of the Jarrold printing legacy, the expensive collection amassed over the past 36 years has become significant in its own right and is now of national and international importance.

'Its function as a fully working museum which shows the process of printing from receipt of copy through to the final printed and bound product makes it even more of a rarity.'

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When plans for the derelict Barrack Street site were first submitted, it was proposed some of the artefacts be moved into a café, with the museum itself completely closing.

In November though, a revised scheme pledged to provide a new location for the museum on site - albeit one half the size of the existing site.

Ms Allen added: 'The gesture made through the revised plans will ultimately force the dispersal of the collection and transform what is presently a vibrant and authentic print room environment, with an active and enthusiastic band of volunteer members, into a sterile display of static machines and automated videos of the bygone days of the print trade.'

The application will be considered by Norwich City Council's planning committee, with officers recommending the scheme for approval.

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