£15,000 funding for corn exchange restoration project

The Wisbech Corn Exchange Conservation Trust has been awarded £15,000 to undertake a feasibility study on their proposals to restore and reopen the historic building as a multi-use venue.

The project viability grant, from The Architectural Heritage Fund, will enable the Trust to explore different options for the renovation, repair and re-use of the building.

This includes a building condition survey, architect’s survey and outline designs, outline costings, business planning and further consultation with the community.

Wisbech-born Norman Jacobs, who chairs the trust, said: “This is great news for the town. In what has been a difficult year for everyone, especially a rural town like Wisbech that thrives on tourism and local events, this much-needed funding shall be injected into the local economy to benefit workers in the area and the town’s development.

“The trust has been careful to select professionals based in and around Wisbech. This is a building for all who live here and so the trust wants to

ensure that all funding received by it is redirected locally.”

MORE: Multi-million pound heritage project to bring Wisbech Corn Exchange back to former glory

Wisbech Corn Exchange was built in 1811 and developed further 50 years later. At the end of the 19th century, it had become a centre for local events and entertainment.

Soon after the Second World War, when the hall had served as a British restaurant to help feed the local community, the council rented the hall for public entertainment.

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This continued for almost the next 40 years with performers Ronnie Scott and The Rolling Stones appearing there and activities from roller skating to bingo.

The Corn Exchange closed its doors in the early 1990s. A plan to turn the hall into a cinema did not meet planning approval and the building fell into disrepair.

Mr Jacobs added: “A new chapter in this historic and important local building’s history is unfolding, one which everyone in the town shall welcome as the corn exchange comes back into use.”

To find out more about the building and the trust visit: https://wcxct.co.uk

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