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Mystery buyer steps in for former live music hot spot

PUBLISHED: 08:31 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:49 09 October 2019

A mystery buyer has been found for the Ferry Boat Inn in Norwich Picture: Victoria Pertusa

A mystery buyer has been found for the Ferry Boat Inn in Norwich Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Archant

It was once the go to place for aspiring artists to get their first experiences of live music, providing a launch pad for singers, bands and performers.

A mystery buyer has been found for the Ferry Boat Inn in Norwich Picture: Victoria PertusaA mystery buyer has been found for the Ferry Boat Inn in Norwich Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Few places in Norwich created more opportunities for new musicians to learn their trade than the Ferry Boat Inn on King Street, which for decades positioned itself at the very epicentre of the city's live music scene.

However, for more than a decade it has been a shell of its former self - vacant and devoid of life, with a bid to turn it into backpackers hostel never coming to fruition.

For the past three years, planning permission has been in place to convert the site into homes, making use of land joining the site to deliver more than 40 properties.

Despite this permission having been granted in October 2016 though, real estate agency Savills has been unable to find a developer to purchase the site, which has been on the market for £1.375m.

Now though, the site's future has moved a step closer to being sealed, with the agency confirming that a buyer has been found for the beloved former pub.

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However, with the three year period of planning permission applied to the site due to expire on Saturday, the deal is dependent on new consent being granted.

A spokesman for Savills said: "The pub is still under offer and will be sold subject to a new planning application being submitted."

Music fans protest outside City Hall as the owners of the Ferry Boat, Yvonne and Alan Thorpe prepare to present thier case for an entertainments license to councillors.
Photo: Simon Finlay
Copy: 
For: EDP/EEN news
EDP pics © 2005
(01603) 772434Music fans protest outside City Hall as the owners of the Ferry Boat, Yvonne and Alan Thorpe prepare to present thier case for an entertainments license to councillors. Photo: Simon Finlay Copy: For: EDP/EEN news EDP pics © 2005 (01603) 772434

The spokesman, however, was unable to disclose details of just who the mystery buyer is.

In October 2016, permission was granted to redevelop the site to provide 41 homes, which would have seen the pub building demolished and a mixture of houses and flats built on the site.

However, with this due to lapse, it remains to be seen whether the mystery buyer will seek to produce a similar plan or whether it has an alternative vision for the site.

The pub itself has not been in operation since 2006, when it closed amid promises of refurbishment. However, it never reopened.

Picture shows old photo of the Ferry Boat, when it was the Steam Packet, taken from Riverside road looking at the rear of the pub
For EN
Copy: Derek JamesPicture shows old photo of the Ferry Boat, when it was the Steam Packet, taken from Riverside road looking at the rear of the pub For EN Copy: Derek James

In its life as a music venue the pub hosted a variety of artists in early stages of their careers, including Frank Turner, Bring Me The Horizon and Norwich favourites Bearsuit.

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