Council to seek public’s view over environmental centre takeover plan

PUBLISHED: 10:34 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:16 05 August 2020

Swaffham Green Britain Centre. Picture: Archant

Swaffham Green Britain Centre. Picture: Archant


A former environmental centre could be taken over by a town council - with the public asked to have its say on whether the move should go ahead.

The Green Britain Centre, Swaffham. Picture: Ian BurtThe Green Britain Centre, Swaffham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Great Britain Centre, which closed in 2018, is currently being discussed between Breckland Council, which owns the building and Swaffham Town Council (STC).

Both councils are in talks over the ownership of the building with talks of an asset swap deal with Days Field being on the table.

Behind the scenes, STC is carrying out its due diligence in regard to the building and a working group of five councillors will bring their deliberations back to the full council for a decision.

The town’s mayor, Jill Skinner, said: “I see the need to clarify certain misstatements that have been made regarding the Council’s discussions with Breckland District Council about the Green Britain Centre.”

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“No final decision has been made regarding the future of the Green Britain Centre.

“STC is currently considering whether to acquire the property from Breckland Council, as part of an asset swap deal for Days Field.

“STC is currently investigating whether this opportunity is in the best interests of the town.”

The not-for-profit centre, which helped to educate school children across the Norfolk about food, energy and transport, closed suddenly back in 2018 after the owner, Dale Vince, said he “couldn’t make it work”.

Now, STC will be hiring a team of professional consultants and surveyors to report on the condition of the property, likely rental value and possible uses.

The town council is currently the preferred bidder for the building, which is known for its distinctive 220ft wind turbine.

Mrs Skinner said: “Before a final decision is taken whether to acquire the property, the results of these investigations will be made available to the public and there will be a consultation period for residents of the town to comment and express their views.”

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