Council strikes £4.1m deal to buy and refurbish historic home

Norwich Coroners Court. Picture: Anton Kelly

Carrow House in Norwich - Credit: Archant

An historic building is to be sold to one Norfolk council by another in a move city leaders say is a "landmark" in their ambition to breathe new life into part of Norwich.

Norwich City Council is to use £4.1m of money it got from the government to buy Carrow House from Norfolk County Council and to refurbish it.

City council leaders said the purchase of the 1860s house, once home to the Colman family, formed part of ambitious plans to regenerate the east side of the city.

A public/private partnership called the East Norwich Partnership, has been created to help areas there, including the former Colman's Carrow Works site, be developed with 4,000 homes and 6,000 jobs.

The city received £25m from the government's Towns Fund bid to kickstart that scheme and a chunk of that is being used for Carrow House.

The King Street building has most recently been home to the county council's social work team and the coroner's office, but they are moving to County Hall.

The county council has agreed to sell the Victorian building and its later extensions to the city council, with City Hall leaders keen to get businesses based in the building.

Norwich City Council has given businesses almost £10m in support payments. Pictured, city council le

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council.

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Alan Waters, leader of the city council, said: “Our purchase of Carrow House is a significant milestone for our plans to regenerate this area of the city as it involves refurbishing and repurposing the Grade II building to provide over 50,000 square feet of meanwhile space for professional and business services whilst the future of the area is determined by the master-planning exercise."

'Meanwhile space' is where offices are temporarily leased or loaned on short-term contracts.

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Mr Waters said: "This would be enough for 420 jobs in a prominent location just east of the city centre and with close proximity to the train station."

Greg Peck, cabinet member for commercial services and asset management Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Greg Peck, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for commercial services and asset management. - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

Greg Peck, cabinet member for commercial services and asset management at the county council, said: "Working with the city council allows us to support the vision for East Norwich while securing a significant capital receipt for Norfolk County Council."

The proposed purchase, to be discussed by the city council's Labour-controlled cabinet next week,  is conditional the government grant arriving and is expected to be complete in spring.

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