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Town hall firm bids for charity status

PUBLISHED: 08:15 18 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:22 12 July 2010

A company set up to refurbish the town hall at Eye is pressing ahead with its move to win charitable status and VAT registration while awaiting the outcome of a major funding bid.

A company set up to refurbish the town hall at Eye is pressing ahead with its move to win charitable status and VAT registration while awaiting the outcome of a major funding bid.

The hall is in urgent need of renovation with the roof, stonework, copings, damp course, heating system and electrics all in need of attention. The toilets, kitchen and main hall all need upgrading, and a 'wheelchair-friendly' entrance is a legal requirement.

It estimated the works will cost £670,000, with £60,000 promised by the county, district and town council.

The Eye Town Hall Improvements Company (Ethic) has also submitted an application to the East of England Development Agency for the balance, with the outcome expected in March.

The company was formed because the agency cannot make grants to a local council, and if the application is successful the title of the town hall will be transferred to Ethic. It will then be responsible for the good order and maintenance of the building.

In a recent update to the town council, company spokesman Richard Dinnin said: “I am very optimistic that once the town hall is fully refurbished and in 100 per cent working order it can prove to be a real and viable asset to the town and surrounding villages.”

He said it was hoped that the £17,000 running costs of the hall would cease to be a burden to the council, and that the cost would be met from future income.

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