A celebration event was held at The Guildhall, Norwich, on Thursday evening (29th January) in recognition of ten successful years of Norwich Heritage Economic & Regeneration Trust (HEART) and to outline the charitable trust’s plans for the future which includes regeneration of The Guildhall.
The evening also marked the retirement of HEART’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Loveday and the arrival of its new Chief Executive Officer, Carolyn Abel.
Around fifty invited guests and local dignitaries, including the Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Councillor Judith Lubbock and the Worshipful the Sheriff of Norwich, Mr William Armstrong attended the event.
In September 2014, Norwich HEART took on the management of The Guildhall from Norwich City Council and since then has begun to explore the opportunities for the future of one of the city’s key heritage assets.
At the event, Norwich HEART unveiled its ambition to secure a sustainable future for The Guildhall and restore it as a pivotal hub in the city and community life. This includes increasing public access and engagement and sharing many of The Guildhall’s amazing stories from the last 600 years.
Norwich HEART’s Guildhall Regeneration Project will include feasibility studies, further research to better understand the history of the building and to get the public involved in shaping its future.
A crucial part of the project is the identification of funding streams to deliver the project and to ensure that the regeneration plans adopt innovative approaches to sustainable design and energy.
Norwich HEART’s Chief Executive Officer, Carolyn Abel, said: “To quote Helen Sutermeister ‘The Guildhall is England’s largest and most elaborate provincial medieval city hall’ and has been central to the development of civic and judicial life over many years. It is therefore a very exciting opportunity for HEART to manage this magnificent building and work with others to shape its future. We are already increasing public access via a programme of fascinating events, talks, open days and developing education and learning programmes. It is an exciting time for HEART and for The Guildhall, and this builds on the tremendous work that Michael Loveday and the HEART team has lead on over the past 10 years.”
Outgoing CEO, Michael Loveday, said: “The enormous hard work, commitment and passion of HEART staff, volunteers, trustees and partners has seen the organisation move from nothing ten years ago to something that has created millions of pounds worth of impact in the local economy, created jobs and sustained jobs in local companies. It has also introduced tens of thousands of new users to local heritage and put Norwich more on the radar of heritage institutions and the global tourism audience over the last ten years. It has been a great journey and HEART is in a fantastic place to go on and do greater things in the future.”
The Guildhall is one of the Norwich 12 – the finest collection of individually outstanding heritage buildings from the Norman, medieval, Georgian, Victorian and modern eras. The building features the Sheriff of Norwich’s parlour, former courtrooms, cells and a 14th-century undercroft.
Private group bookings for tours of The Guildhall can be made via 01603 305575. Pre-booked tours of The Guildhall for individuals are available every Friday – to book please visit http://norwich-heart.eventbrite.co.uk
For more information about Norwich HEART, The Guildhall and its events, please visit www.heritagecity.org.
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