Drill Hall bid drive

PUBLISHED: 12:03 24 April 2011

SPORTS users are hoping to form a charitable trust in an effort to ensure they can continue using Gorleston’s Drill Hall.

With the hall facing an uncertain future after Norfolk County Council pulled its funding of the building, those who have enjoyed its facilities have come together in an effort to retain its use for sports after the end of April.

Currently, a group has been formed to represent the hundreds who have used the hall over the years ahead of a Norfolk County Council decision over the building’s future but moves are being made to formalise their efforts.

Chairman of the group Mark Westgate pointed to the county council’s early adoption of the Localism Bill, which paves the way for community groups to snap up buildings not needed by the council, as a good sign.

“We’re going into this with our eyes wide open, and will be campaigning and sitting round the table when the decisions are made and putting a business plan together showing it’s financially viable.

“The last conversation I had with the council information was still being put together for the councillors to make a decision so we’re in limbo slightly, but the sky is the limit.”

Of local group Seachange Arts, who are also looking at taking on the site, Mr Westgate said that they would be open to working with others if sports use was retained.

“They’ve got a good pedigree behind them but their speciality is within the arts, not sport,” he added.

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