Drill Hall review creates concern

Just Regional
Jun 18, 2015 3 mins read

Businesses and groups in Aylsham are fearing for their future after news that the Drill Hall in Cawston Road is “under review”.

Local organisations, which include a nursery business, the boxing club and youth groups received a letter yesterday from NPS Property Consultants which stated: “It is necessary for NPS Property Consultants to review its occupation and management of the Drill Hall as part of a rationalisation of activities in Norfolk brought about by significantly reduced public sector expenditure. This process may result in NPS vacating the property.”

Charles Tyndall, building surveying director, continued to say in the letter that while the process was taking place groups and organisations should continue to use the building as per their agreements but added: “It is appreciated that this will be very disappointing news but I assure you that I will let you know the outcome of the consideration as soon as it is known.”

He expected a decision to be made towards the end of July.

The announcement caused concern yesterday for the groups involved.

A statement today from Mr Tyndall said: “We’re sorry if the letter sent to the groups who use the Drill Hall caused alarm. We wanted to be open with them straight away so they have as much information as possible. The general future use of the building isn’t currently in question and there are no plans to close the Drill Hall soon. We are reviewing our management of the building and consulting with our staff who are based in the building about their possible relocation.

“If it is decided, following this consultation, that NPS will end their tenancy, it will be for the property owners, Norfolk County Council, to decide what to do with the building as a result. If this happens it is likely to be several months in the future and we and the county council will keep in touch with the user groups throughout this time.

“Nothing has currently changed for the user groups and we hope they will continue to use the hall and feel able to talk to us if they have any concerns.”

Town clerk Sue Lake said Aylsham Town Council would be monitoring the situation with the hall and and would be discussing it at the next meeting on July 9, 7pm. The public can attend this meeting.

She added: “The Town Council is looking to register the Drill Hall as a community asset. She explained: “In the Localism Act, if a registered building comes up for sale there is a six-month window for the community to get together a business plan to buy it.

“This property is an important community asset and it would be good to protect it.”

Aylsham Drill Hall which is used by many local clubs and groups.

Aylsham Drill Hall which is used by many local clubs and groups.

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