Thorpeness: Historic building up for sale

EXECUTORS of a Suffolk landmark have expressed regret at having to put the building up for sale after it became untenable.

Ogilvie Hall in Thorpeness is on the market at �700,000 for developers to convert the former sports and social club into five residential units while maintaining its outer appearance.

Robert Ogilvie, great-great-grandson of founder Margaret, and chairman of the charity in her name, said the building had struggle to stay viable for 10 years before being closed last September.

The hall was built in 1923 as a theatre for Thorpeness owner Glencairn Stuart Ogilvie’s plays, but was more recently used as a library and social club.

The Alexander and Margaret Ogilvie Club Charity has pledged the money from the sale to fund improvements at the nearby sports ground and the pavilion – in accordance with the charity charter that funds are directly invested into the local community – while �100,000 in Section 106 money will go towards affordable housing.

Mr Ogilvie said: “We want local clubs to know there is an opportunity to improve facilities.

“It is important to get the right money from the sale and ensure it is spent properly.

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“Ultimately, the club was used too little and became too expensive for us to maintain.

“The trust would have lost money and would not have been able to keep going. I think most people accept that - but it’s a sad end to an era.”

Mr Ogilvie said the biggest regret would be the loss of a popular badminton club which met in the main hall, adding: “It was difficult to justify keeping the building for the club only. We have plans for a badminton hall but whether we have the money is unlikely.”

Oliver Johnson, of agents Clarke & Simpson, said the building had already attracted interest from developers. He added: “A building like this could have become a liability to the trust, which has to look after its funds to survive.”

If you belong to a local club and would like to suggest how the money be spent, visit thorpenessclub.btck.co.uk or e-mail lynjones143@btinternet.com.

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