Search

Boost for Diss Cornhall plans

PUBLISHED: 15:04 18 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:54 12 July 2010

Ambitious proposals to bring an iconic public building in Diss into the 21st century are set for a boost with plans to form a charitable trust to help generate new funds.

Ambitious proposals to bring an iconic public building in Diss into the 21st century are set for a boost with plans to form a charitable trust to help generate new funds.

Fears were raised last month that the regeneration of the historic Corn Hall could be mothballed as a result of the drying up of funding streams.

But Diss Town Council has now revealed that it hopes to form a friends' group to enable the 19th

century building to access charitable monies.

Sue Reeves, Corn Hall project co-ordinator, whose contract is set to expire at the end of March, said a meeting was taking place next month to look into the formation of the charitable trust.

The town council unveiled plans to turn the hall, in St Nicholas Street, into a modern theatre, concert hall, cinema, and community venue two years ago. However, the scheme, which is estimated to cost between £2m and £3m has been unable to attract full funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Mrs Reeves told the Diss Business Forum's annual meeting on Tuesday night that 85pc of funding avenues were closed to the town council, but could be unlocked by a Corn Hall Friends' group.

“We would like to see a step-by-step plan to improve the usage and attractiveness of the Corn Hall. It is one of the largest venues in Norfolk and is a huge asset.”

“It is a unique selling point and a source of local pride, but at the moment it does not have a purpose and is just an oversized village hall subsidised by the town,” she said.

Town officials, South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, and legal representatives are set to meet on March 27 to discuss the formation of the charitable trust to help transform the Corn Hall into a “cultural entertainment hub to meet all tastes and interests”.

Mrs Reeves said she was hopeful that the project would get funding, which could result in the venue hosting famous authors, comedians, plays, cookery demonstrations, sporting events, casino nights and fashion shows. She added that the Corn Hall could be closed if it was not brought up to disabled access regulations. The building also needs funding for a structural survey and to employ an architect for the scheme.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Diss Mercury

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists