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Artists' impressions for £840k hall revamp project revealed

PUBLISHED: 16:31 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:01 12 February 2020

What the redeveloped St Michael's Rooms building could look like Picture: JAMES GORST ARCHITECTS

What the redeveloped St Michael's Rooms building could look like Picture: JAMES GORST ARCHITECTS

Archant

An public hall is set for a major revamp as artist's impressions of the £840,000 project were revealed.

The current building was built 130 years ago Picture: JAMES GORST ARCHITECTSThe current building was built 130 years ago Picture: JAMES GORST ARCHITECTS

James Gorst Architects have unveiled their plans for the St Michael's Rooms building, which will result in the facilities in the St Michael's Church grounds undergoing a major overhaul.

Mark Sanders, rector of St Michael's Church in Framlingham, said: "It was a building that was only meant to last 70 or 80 years - but it's been much loved.

"The new design is distinctive and it will provide a lot of facilities for everyone in the town."

The current St Michael's Rooms building, which was built 130 years ago, was introduced to Framlingham by then-church rector James Pilkington.

Rector Mark Sanders by the entrance to the current building Picture: ARCHANTRector Mark Sanders by the entrance to the current building Picture: ARCHANT

However, the public hall has been showing its age - with Framlingham Town Council chairman describing the facilities as at the "end of their life".

Multiple attempts have been made over the years to redevelop the building, Rev Sanders said, but were all unsuccessful until November last year when town councillors unanimously passed two motions supporting redevelopment work at the building.

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This included allocating £700,000 of community infrastructure levy (CIL) funding from East Suffolk Council for the project.

The interior of the present St Michael's Rooms building Picture: ARCHANTThe interior of the present St Michael's Rooms building Picture: ARCHANT

Community leaders also agreed to provide an additional £70,000 of CIL funding to allow the redevelopments to proceed after years of discussions between the Parochial Church Council (PCC), who own the building, and the town council.

In January, a public exhibition was held at the hall for the community to voice their thoughts on the project, with an overwhelming majority in favour of the PCC's plans for a redevelopment.

Rev Sanders confirmed the redeveloped facilities will be known as St Michael's Community Rooms to reflect that the building will not just be used by the church.

The total cost of the project is expected to be at least £840,000, though this figure could raise.

The redevelopment of the church hall coincides with a refurbishment of the town's former Conservative Club over the road - with Rev Sanders believing the two projects will help "revitalise" the town.

Rev Sanders added: "The design will help with the general renewal of the town of Framlingham.

"It will replace an old, tired building with something that meets the needs of the people."

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