Hour Community eyes up Framlingham John Grose building as potential hub
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Framlingham-based charity Hour Community has started making enquiries into the availability of the former John Grose Ford dealership which is owned by the East of England Co-op.
Although CEO Nick Corke, who enjoyed a positive reaction online to the announcement, is keen to stress that things are still very much in the early stages.
The site was bought by the Co-op at the start of the year but has since remained empty with rumours surrounding the reasons why the site was bought and what might occupy it.
While the charity, that offers help to the elderly and vulnerable, has been struggling to find permanent base and is currently operating out of the United Free Church.
Mr Corke viewed the property last week and acknowledged that there is "a lot of property" there and an enormous opportunity, but that it would take "a lot of work and commitment".
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"I've been to look at the site," he told this paper. "I believe it is a great opportunity here, but it's going to take money, it's going to take time and it's going to take help.
"In the meantime somebody else may come along and rent the building off them and they'll be absolutely happy. But at the moment I'm told by the agents there isn't actually anybody that's made a full bid for the whole site, or the last one I understand fell through, so I'm going to carry on exploring the options."
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The community's reaction was largely positive about a potential proposal although some residents expressed concerns about the size and subsequent costs to rent the site.
"There's a lot of space, there's a lot of building down there and we can sub divide it," he added.
The possibility of having a café or even a gym alongside the charity in the building is being considered.
Overall Mr Corke said he was: "Very positive, I'm very pleased with the reaction we've got.
"Is this something that the town could really benefit from? Yeah.
"But I must stress the fact that there's a lot of work to be done and it's got to get the approval of the trustees.
"If it's something that the community wants, something the community is prepared to get behind then you know we are prepared to try and lead it."