£1.8m refurb planned for historic Norwich building

Norwich Coroners Court. Picture: Anton Kelly

Norwich Coroners Court. Picture: Anton Kelly - Credit: Archant

Plans to buy and refurbish an historic Norwich landmark are in motion, with £1.82m set aside to cover the works.  

Norwich City Council wants to use £4.1m of money from the government to buy Carrow House from Norfolk County Council.  

Of that, £1.82m has been set aside to cover the refurbishment works, however, this includes fees and contingency, so the actual contract is expected to be significantly less.  

City council leaders have previously 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 report to Norwich's cabinet said: “Norwich has a major opportunity to accelerate the regeneration of East Norwich to create a new high-quality urban quarter.  

“The council is proposing to repurpose a prominent office building within the regeneration area - Carrow House - to provide circa 3000 sq. metres of lettable floorspace for the professional services and knowledge industry.   

“This refurbishment will help kickstart the revitalisation of the area and is able to be delivered within a year of purchase of the building.”  

Norwich city councillor Mike Stonard. Pic: Archant.

Norwich city councillor Mike Stonard. Pic: Archant. - Credit: Archant

Carrow House forms part of a public/private partnership called the East Norwich Partnership (ENP), which 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.  

At a meeting on Wednesday, Mike Stonard, cabinet member for sustainable growth, said the city council thought it was important for Carrow House to be owned by someone signed up to the ENP vision.  

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“We took the view that there were uses it could be put to that would support the regeneration of the area and the local economy,” he said.  

Liberal Democrat councillor James Wright was positive about the plans, saying: “I think this is a really exciting project and I am quite keen to see it get underway.”  

The councils are expected to exchange contracts for the building by the end of the month.  

Cabinet members agreed to delegate authority for awarding the refurbishment contract to the executive director of development and city services.