A Norwich activist has spoken of her struggle to protect a city landmark from plans to close it.

Jane Overhill submitted a bid to get Wensum Lodge declared an Asset of Community Value (ACV) by Norwich City Council in order to give it extra protection from Norfolk County Council, which is hoping to sell the building to the highest bidder.

The ACV order means the community now has six months to come up with a bid to purchase the King Street site before the Conservative-controlled county council can sell it on the open market. 

Ms Overhill, who led the campaign for Labour, said work to obtain the order had been "heartbreaking" and thanked all those who had supported the bid.

Norwich Evening News: Jane Overhill at Wensum LodgeJane Overhill at Wensum Lodge (Image: Newsquest)

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She said: "I was very pleased to hear from Norwich City Council that my application had been successful.

"There is an enormous depth of feeling across the community about this service which is to be lost.

"It has been heartbreaking at times listening to those who use the facility and it is quite clear that its value to people is manifold."

Ms Overhill - who stood for the Thorpe Hamlet ward in May's city council elections, as Josh Worley held the seat for the Greens - said the suggestion from the county council that courses could be run online was missing the point of what the community needed.

Norwich Evening News: Wensum Lodge, which Norfolk County Council is hoping to sellWensum Lodge, which Norfolk County Council is hoping to sell (Image: Newsquest)

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She added: "Maybe they can, but this is not what people want.

"We have just been through a pandemic where we all had to stay indoors and having come out the other side of this we can see only too clearly how bad that has been for mental health.

"Wensum Lodge is not just about learning, it's about getting out and meeting people too."

Following the ACV status being granted, Ms Overhill called on county council bosses to work with the community to devise a solution.

She said: "I am asking you to roll up your sleeves and work with the community to come up with a solution that suits us all."