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Refurbishment hope for historic hotel after sale confirmed

PUBLISHED: 15:30 18 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:30 18 February 2020

The former King's Head Hotel in Bungay which has been bought by a hotelier. PHOTO: James Bass

The former King's Head Hotel in Bungay which has been bought by a hotelier. PHOTO: James Bass

A historic town centre hotel could be set for a new lease of life, almost a decade after closing.

The former King's Head Hotel in Bungay which has been bought by a hotelier. PHOTO: James BassThe former King's Head Hotel in Bungay which has been bought by a hotelier. PHOTO: James Bass

A historic town centre hotel could be set for a new lease of life, almost a decade after closing.

The King's Head Hotel, in Bungay, has been sitting empty since the early 2010s, with many residents desperate to see the site restored to its former glory.

The sale of the former coaching inn has now been completed, with a hotelier the new owner.

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 Bungay resident Harry Smith, who bought the estate to be used for the benefit of the town.

Inside the former King's Head Hotel in Bungay. Bungay Castle Trust and Bungay Museum Trust members. PHOTO: James BassInside the former King's Head Hotel in Bungay. Bungay Castle Trust and Bungay Museum Trust members. PHOTO: James Bass

In March last year, the results of a public consultation showed local support for a hotelier to refurbish the histority property, as well as for a new museum in the former Oddfellows Hall and Jester's Cafe.

The survey was held by the Bungay, Bigod and Beyond - a collaboration of the Castle and Museum Trusts.

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Sue Allen, chair of the Bungay Castle Trust, said: "Bungay Castle and Bungay Museum Trusts are delighted to announce that the King's Head Hotel, in Bungay, has been sold to a developer who is a hotelier.

Inside the former King's Head Hotel in Bungay. PHOTO: James BassInside the former King's Head Hotel in Bungay. PHOTO: James Bass

"The people of Bungay have long wanted this building to be restored and we await further news about the nature of the intended King's Head restoration project.

"It had been intended to house a new museum for the town on the King's Head site.

"However, having received an offer which will result in restoration of the hotel as a landmark building and business in the centre of the town, a decision was made by the Trusts to refocus the project.

"It is proposed to use the sale proceeds to support a project that will create a purpose-built museum on land adjacent to the castle, to the rear of Jester's Cafe, and carry out essential repairs to Bungay Castle.

Inside the former King's Head Hotel in Bungay. PHOTO: James BassInside the former King's Head Hotel in Bungay. PHOTO: James Bass

"The two trusts are looking forward to engaging with the public about the refocused project and working with the planning authority, Heritage England and external funders to bring it to a successful conclusion."

The former coaching inn has 13 en-suite bedrooms, two function rooms, a residents' lounge, restaurant, lounge bar and car park.

It dates from the 16th century but, like other prominent buildings in the centre of Bungay, was destroyed in the town's great fire of March in 1688.

In 2017, photographs of the town were displayed in the hotel's windows to promote the heritage hub project.


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