Climate change studies part of plan to keep Holt Hall in use
- Credit: Savills
Holt Hall could be rejuvenated as a centre for climate change studies and outdoor education for children under a fresh bid to keep the site in public use.
The campaign - led by Friends of Holt Hall (FOHH)- follows Norfolk County Council putting the hall and estate on the market earlier this week, after having voted to sell it off in December last year.
The council has also said it would like to see the hall remain as an education centre rather than being transformed into a private home, and has invited parties to put forward proposals on what they would do with the site by December 1.
Tom Green, chairman of FOHH’s trustees, said: “FOHH remain optimistic that there is still the opportunity for environmental and outdoor learning to continue at Holt Hall for the children of the county and wider community benefit, which FOHH will continue to keep at the forefront of the NCC agenda”.
The Friends are working with the Swanton Morley-based Castlemeadow Group on their plans.
Dr Sanjay Kaushal, from Castlemeadow, said: “If we are successful in now acquiring the hall and grounds and launching our new community enterprise, we shall establish a robust and viable business offering residential and day visits to Holt Hall for environmental and outdoor learning and climate change studies.
“Our plan makes these sustainable through a diversified range of complementary and sympathetic services.
“It will take time to build but our determination is there, step by step.”
The council’s decision to close Holt Hall sparked a public outcry, as the site had been an important and fondly remembered part of the education of generations of schoolchildren.
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Greg Peck, the council’s cabinet member for commercial services and asset management, said a number of parties were interested in using the hall.
Mr Peck said different ideas would be considered. “The vast majority of those interested have expressed a willingness to deliver some form of outdoor education, often alongside other activities that would bring wider community benefits.
“We have therefore decided to put the site on the market so that each interested party has the opportunity to put forward their proposals in full.”