Bury St Edmunds: The Guildhall Project is going before St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s cabinet meeting
A HERITAGE centre at what is thought to be the oldest civic building in England could be complete in three years time if plans are successful.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council is being asked to formally back the Guildhall Project in Bury St Edmunds at its cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Michael Jackson, who is leading the initiative, said this support was important in helping achieve major funding.
The project, which will cost about £700,000 in total, aims to make the 13th Century Guildhall building in Guildhall Street more accessible to the public by using it for events and exhibition space, having an education centre, cafeteria and sensory garden.
The Guildhall also features a Royal Obeserver Corps operations room which will be presented as a World War II heritage site.
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The officers’ recommendations to the borough council’s cabinet include the authority agreeing to be a co-signatory to the project’s forthcoming application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Mr Jackson said if everything went to plan - including the two application stages to achieve full Heritage Lottery Funding - he hoped the work would be finished by late summer 2016.
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He said agreement needed to be reached between the borough council - which currently pays for the maintenance of the building - the Guildhall Feoffment Trust - which owns the building - and the project managers to drive the initiative forward.
“It’s a kind of joint venture and because of that we need to all sign up,” he said.
He said the aim was to get cabinet approval for a Memorandum of Understanding - which would be between all the partners - which he described as a “vital” part of the funding application.