A £73,600 grant has been awarded to move forward with plans to give one of the most historic buildings in Bury St Edmunds a new lease of life for widespread community use.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the development funding to a consortium including St Edmundsbury Borough Council, the Guildhall Feoffment Trust and Bury Heritage Trust to help them press ahead with their programme of conservation and renovation works for The Guildhall - believed to be the oldest civic building in the country.
Designed to draw on its varied history, they aim to present the building’s operations room as it was in the Second World War and develop facilities to host collections, stage public and private events and run societies.
The consortium will apply for a full grant at a later stage.
The Guildhall, in Guildhall Street, has served the community for more than eight centuries as a meeeting house, court of law, infirmary and regional headquarters for the Royal Observer Corps during the war.
Councillor John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Council and a Guildhall Feoffee, said “Bury St Edmunds glories in remarkable buildings but they also need a purpose, a life, to be truly appreciated by everyone. I am absolutely delighted about this funding which will allow the exciting vision for the Guildhall’s future to be brought nearer to fulfilment, and would like to thank all those involved.”
For more details see Friday’s Bury Free Press.