Volunteers wanted for Thetford community project

Cllrs outside the Thetford Academy site which they are due to reopen for community use.l-r:Cllr Sylv

Cllrs outside the Thetford Academy site which they are due to reopen for community use.l-r:Cllr Sylvia Armes, Cllr Terry Jermy, Cllr Mike Brindle and Cllr Denis Crawford. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

A town council is seeking volunteers to help it get an empty school site back into use and serving the community after it agreed to take on its running.

Thetford Town Council members voted unanimously to back a project to bring the former Charles Burrell High School site under its control at a meeting on Thursday.

The site has been empty since July last year when Thetford Academy moved to a single site on Croxton Road. The town council will now lease the site from Norfolk County Council for 30 years.

The council had previously agreed to look at the possibility of running the site at a meeting in November. A working party was established to carry out a feasibility study and social entrepreneur, Robert Ashton, was hired to consult on the project.

Mr Ashton presented his findings at Thursday’s meeting.

Councillor Terry Jermy, chairman of the Charles Burrell Committee, said it was “an exciting project”.

“Our next stage is to get the lease signed quickly and then get the building opened as soon as possible. I urge local people to get involved and volunteer to support the project and I am appealing to the local business community to do what they can, in these stringent times, to make this project a success.

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“We have fantastic community spirit in Thetford and I know that by working together we can make this a really great initiative and it will potentially benefit all residents of Thetford.”

A range of uses have been identified for the project, according to the town council.

It is hoped that the site will be used by community groups including sports organisations, for health and wellbeing activities, a variety of training courses and other learning opportunities.

To volunteer, download an application form from the town council’s website - www.thetfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

Groups interested in using the site can register their interest by contacting the council on 01842 754247.