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Scores attend Bungay Community Centre for ambitious restoration plans

PUBLISHED: 10:08 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:08 25 October 2018

The former Kings Head Hotel in Bungay.  Picture: James Bass

The former Kings Head Hotel in Bungay. Picture: James Bass

The £2 million project aims to bring the 12th century castle back in to the public eye and create a new museum in the disused Kings Head Hotel.

The former Kings Head Hotel in Bungay.  Picture: James BassThe former Kings Head Hotel in Bungay. Picture: James Bass

A crowd of locals have come together to support ambitious plans to restore disused heritage buildings in Bungay.

Scores of supporters packed out the public consultation meeting - which was held at the Bungay Community Centre on Monday evening, to witness the plans for the restoration of Kings Head Hotel and the ancient castle.

The £2 million project aims to bring the 12th century castle back in to the public eye and create a new museum in the disused Kings Head Hotel. Plans for the site have been underway since the King’s Head was acquired for the town through a £500,000 legacy from the late Harry Smith, a Bungay resident who purchased the estate to be used to the benefit of the town.

The plans intend to enhance Jester’s Café and the visitor centre, and also create heritage skills workshops.

The meeting was called by the steering committee headed by Bungay Council Trust which took ownership of the hotel on behalf of the town and canvassed the views residents may have.

Anne Mason, who has been taken on as heritage consultant, told the meeting the project – with the logo Bungay, Bigod and Beyond – would be looking for funding of over £1 million “and probably nearer £2 million”.

“We are looking at two years from submitting the first application and getting the funding, and then the delivery of the project, which could take two to three years,” she said.

“It is a project which has to be shaped by the views of people of this town and visitors to the area.”

At the meeting, Ms Mason detailed how the project will encourage people to learn about the history of the town and hailed the turn out to Monday’s meeting as “inspirational”.

Steering group chairman Olly Barnes said:“We believe that by investing in and promoting the built heritage, the castle and its associated sites, it will bring visitors to the town, benefitting local businesses and services alike.”

After the meeting, Ms Mason said the support of the community “exceeded our expectations and the majority seemed to be totally behind the project.”

Feedback forms and more information on the scheme, possibly the biggest for Bungay in 100 years, will be available at the community centre in Upper Olland Street until Monday, October 29.

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