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Community weighs in on future of town’s buildings

PUBLISHED: 06:32 07 March 2019

The former Kings Head Hotel in Bungay which is being used for a major new project.

Picture: James Bass

The former Kings Head Hotel in Bungay which is being used for a major new project. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2016

The results of a public consultation which discussed possible uses for the castle, museum and the Oddfellows Hall in Bungay have been released.

The former Kings Head Hotel in Bungay which is being used for a major new project.

Picture: James BassThe former Kings Head Hotel in Bungay which is being used for a major new project. Picture: James Bass

The survey by the Bungay, Bigod and Beyond - a collaboration of The Castle and Museum Trusts to consult on the development of the Bungay Heritage Hub, revealed the public’s perspective on the proposed plans.

Throughout November and December, the trusts held the project to assess what was important to the community regarding Bungay’s landmarks and the best way to preserve their history.

The results show most people feel the new museum should be housed in the former Oddfellows Hall and Jester’s café, in the town’s centre should be moved to offer a better view of the castle.

It also suggested there should be a major restoration on the castle, which was built in the 12th century, and there was better access to the mine gallery and dungeons.

Bungay Castle
Picture: Nick ButcherBungay Castle Picture: Nick Butcher

While the most participants agreed on the plan, the community was divided on the future of the King’s Head Hotel in Market Place, Bungay.

A majority felt the historic property should be leased to a hotelier for refurbishment, though both trusts have determined it “is unlikely to be viable, and would be considered too risky as a business venture.”

Castle Trust chairman Olly Barnes, said: “We have been considering the suggested options for the King’s Head building and have taken much advice on the feasibility of its being run as a hotel.

“However, the Trusts are considering that offering the building for other types of development would be the better option for the redundant hotel. This would be more achievable, and ensure the front façade and other elevations were developed and maintained,” Mr Barnes said.

The survey also revealed a huge majority want the Castle Bailey Field and Castle Hills retained as open spaces for public events and performances.

For Oddfellows Hall, residents suggested the ground floor to be used for the museum and the upstairs space providing access to the castle.

The full results have been posted on to the Bungay, Bigod and Beyond Facebook page.

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