What should happen to former city pub?

The Viking Centre in Sprowston, formerly the Viking pub and then Royal Bengal restaurant, was bought by the council in 2021

The Viking Centre in Sprowston, formerly the Viking pub and then Royal Bengal restaurant, was bought by the town council in 2021 with the hopes of turning it into a community asset - Credit: Brittany Woodman

People are being encouraged to weigh in on what they want a disused pub-turned-restaurant in a city suburb to be transformed into. 

Those living in and around Sprowston flocked to the Tills Road building for the consultation on Tuesday and Wednesday this week to present ideas on how to regenerate the space.

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. Pictures: Britta

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

Sprowston mayor John Ward said: "We don't have any real facilities in this part of the town of Sprowston, so we thought it'd be a good place for a community centre.

"We had made some previous enquiries among some of the groups here with some interest in using the building, so we thought we'd have a public consultation in the building itself so people can come down, have a look around and see what there is available."

Sprowston Town Council bought the derelict building last year with the view of transforming it into a community asset for the area.

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. John Ward, Town

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. John Ward, Town Mayor. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

"We're hoping to have some sort of community café and let out the other rooms and also build on to the back a hall which will be available to hire.

"We've already done this successfully with the Diamond Centre. It was an old school but we purchased it and turned it into a very successful centre."

Gauging what most want from a community asset, Mr Ward added: "Most of them are very keen on the café idea. There's a local walking group that is desperate to find a community café in the area where they can set off from and come back to.

Karen Vincent, John Ward and Judy Leggett at the Viking Centre consultation in Sprowston

Karen Vincent, John Ward and Judy Leggett at the Viking Centre consultation in Sprowston - Credit: Supplied by Karen Vincent

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. Pictures: Britta

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

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"A number of local residents are pleased that this building will be used."

Cllr Karen Vincent, who represents Sprowston West as well as Old Catton on the county council, added: "We're keen to hear people's views and suggestions.

"The positive thing I've been hearing is that people want an asset like this in the neighbourhood that people can walk to and have a community base. So many footpaths lead to this area, so people don't have to drive.

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. Councillor Marti

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. Councillor Martin Callam, speaking with members of the community. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

"I feel it's filling a gap that we don't have at the moment and having a derelict building put to use is a really positive thing."