‘Exciting’ project to create community space in town nears completion
- Credit: Andrew Hirst
The developers behind the project to ‘breathe exciting new life’ and transform Framlingham’s former Conservative Club into a community space hope to reopen the building later this month.
The club, in Church Street, was acquired last year by Paperhouse Properties, which is fronted by architects Mark Hoare and Ted Ridge.
Paperhouse has continued to work on the scheme during the coronavirus lockdown and are now hoping to begin a phased reopening of the club from mid-July.
Framlingham Conservative Club was founded in 1910 but closed in December 2018 - with the committee blaming a ‘stay-at-home’ drinking culture for its demise.
Paperhouse duly snapped up the building and set upon their task of creating a space of “lasting social value” in Framlingham.
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They hosted an open event for the community last May, with neighbours asked to submit their ideas for how the club could be transformed into a space that benefit the whole of the town.
Among the ideas suggested included a cafe, arts gallery and an offices complex.
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Paperhouse eventually settled on revamping the building into a multi-purpose property, housing a cafe, offices, meeting rooms and a two-bedroom flat.
Framlingham Area Youth Action Partnership (FAYAP) are also going to have dedicated facilities within the building thanks in part to the town council approving £15,000 of community infrastructure levy funding towards the scheme.
Paperhouse had initially hoped to have the club reopen in the spring, but the ongoing coronavirus crisis and government lockdown restrictions have set the date back several months.
Mr Hoare said: “It has obviously been a tricky few months for everyone, but we have been pressing on.
“There has been a very promising level of interest from people wanting creative workspace, some of them undoubtedly influenced by their at-home experience of the last few months and wanting to be part of a creative community close to home.
“Most of the studios are now taken and we are hoping that the place will soon have a bit of buzz about it.”