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Grant delight for Pennoyers project

PUBLISHED: 10:59 17 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:44 12 July 2010

A project to restore historic Pennoyer's School has been given a major boost thanks to a £210,500 grant.

The money provided by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) Investing In Communities programme for Norfolk, will enable education and training services to be offered to residents of Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, and the surrounding area once the building is transformed.

A project to restore historic Pennoyer's School has been given a major boost thanks to a £210,500 grant.

The money provided by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) Investing In Communities programme for Norfolk, will enable education and training services to be offered to residents of Pulham St Mary, near Harleston, and the surrounding area once the building is transformed. Business start-up support and mentoring services will also be offered, and it is expected that hundreds of local people will benefit from the investment.

The former school has been empty for more than 20 years and first came to public attention through the BBC's Restoration Village programme, where the project was regional runner-up.

Since then, a community-led project team has worked to secure the funding necessary to restore the school and its 15th century Guild Chapel for community use.

The grant will help fund the conversion of the building into

a village centre, with more than 50 local groups making use of the restored building, which will also replace the village hall.

Construction work is due to begin early next year, with the new facility open by February 2010. As well as education services, the centre will include conference rooms for businesses and local groups, an internet café and a coffee shop.

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