First look inside hotel building which is set to become Bungay's heritage centre
Archant Norfolk © 2016
The group behind plans to turn the King's Head Hotel in Bungay into a heritage and education centre is preparing for the first stage of the project following a tour of the building.
Members of the Bungay Castle Trust and Bungay Museum Trust visited the site on Saturday, and for some it was the first time they had seen inside the building.
Plans for the former coaching inn were unveiled last month, and the aim is to bring the town’s museum and castle history together under one roof and create a new focal point for residents and tourists to enjoy.
The building was bought following a bequest from the late Harry Smith, a Bungay resident whose will required his estate to be used for the benefit of the town.
Chris Reeve, chairman of Bungay Museum Trust, said: “We had a special guided tour for all the members of the castle trust and museum trustees, and a lot of the trustees had never seen inside before.
“It was an informal visit and I was able to show the trustees the area where we plan to have the museum on the ground floor in the old Oddfellows Hall.
“It was a chance to get an idea of the scale of the building and the adjustments which need to be made, because there is a lot of work to be done.”
An application to turn the building into an apart hotel was approved by Waveney District Council last September, before it was put back up for sale.
Mr Reeve said: “The next step is to have a meeting with Waveney District Council in a couple of weeks so we can discuss ideas and see what is feasible.
“We’ve got to do a lot of fundraising to move the project on, but it is just so wonderful to be able to move forward because we have been looking for a new home for the museum for about 10 or 12 years.”
Bungay Museum is currently housed on the first floor of the Waveney District Council Office in Broad Street, and the project will allow it to expand and link with the Castle Trust to provide a variety of exhibitions, lectures, education projects and activities.
The project also includes plans to use the yard and cart shed to accommodate apprenticeship and vocational courses in traditional construction methods using lime, flint and stone.
The hotel, in Market Place, has 13 en-suite letting bedrooms, two function rooms, a residents’ lounge, restaurant, lounge bar, car park and a yard which is immediately adjacent to the castle site.
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