December 9 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Campaigners fighting to save the Royal British Legion’s Jubilee Hall in Norwich are calling on bosses to give them a fair deal on the rent they would be asked to pay. At a public meeting last week members gave their overwhelming backing to plans to form a charitable trust to save the hall. The Aylsham Road club is threatened with closure in the new year because legion bosses have decided keeping it open would pose an “unacceptable risk” to charitable funds.
Businessman Martin Wyatt, who plans to lease the club from the legion, through a charitable trust, has now written to legion bosses Hugh Phillips and Alex Houghton, to raise concerns about the rent. He has suggested the possibility of a peppercorn rent, as the hall was built with local funds and they intend to maintain it for its original purpose, but to fully encompass the community. He said: “Generally, we cannot afford more than the old social club was paying - £7,500. Alternatively, we could consider a purchase of the building as a going concern, for £300,000. In the meantime, we are preparing for the transfer of the building to our proposed charity.”
The Norwich Evening News has been backing the efforts to retain the club through the Save Our Jubilee Hall campaign. Meanwhile, Norwich North MP Chloe Smith has secured a parliamentary debate about the work of the legion in Norwich tomorrow and is also due to meet the charity’s director general.