News on the future of The Cedars
Date published: 25th June 2021
The Council is pleased to confirm the historic Cedars building in North Walsham is being refurbished by the District Council, aided by a grant from Historic England, to provide a flexible space for businesses or community organisations looking for a well-situated base in the town.
Formerly the offices of North Walsham Town Council, The Cedars enjoys a prominent location in the centre of the market town – which is currently being rejuvenated by the £3.2million High Street Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) scheme, led by North Norfolk District Council and supported financially with grant funding by Historic England and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
As well as letting out the main building, the Council is discussing proposals to sell adjoining land to maximise financial return on this valuable asset for the benefit of North Norfolk residents.
The Council had previously been in talks dating back to the summer of 2014 with national pub and restaurant chain JD Wetherspoon, who had signalled an interest in acquiring The Cedars to turn it into a new pub.
However due to the emergence of Covid in early 2020, Wetherspoon’s interest in potentially opening new licensed premises on the site was understandably delayed due to the impact of the pandemic on the pub trade.
With JD Wetherspoon having been unable to commit to purchasing the site, the Council has decided to press ahead with proposals to restore and refurbish the building itself and then invite other businesses or community groups to express their interest in renting space at the premises.
Deputy Leader of the Council and North Walsham Councillor Eric Seward said: “The proposal for the Cedar House/ New Rd site to be sold to JD Wetherspoon has been going on for nearly seven years. The District Council under different political administrations has twice agreed to sell the site to them. However, the Covid pandemic has understandably delayed any chance of a pub being opened on this site for some years. The Council therefore has to find alternative ways for this derelict prominent town centre site to be brought back into use.”
Councillor Richard Kershaw, Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Growth, added: “The Council (with its partners) is creating a once in a generation opportunity to enhance North Walsham’s historic core and make it an attractive destination and centre of commerce. With the award of grants for the HAZ scheme and the help from Historic England, this historic building can become a key part of that programme of activity. Bringing The Cedars back into use, after it laying empty for so long, will breathe new life into this gateway to the historic market place; what’s more, the investment in the fabric of the town centre will help indigenous businesses to invest and to flourish – including those in the local hospitality sector. It will be good to see life back in the building and the uncertainty about its future resolved.”
If you are interested in possibly letting the space available and would like to find out more, contact our Estates team by calling 01263 516025 or e-mailing Estates@north-norfolk.gov.uk