Mystery buyers in line to take on former restaurant AND enterprise centre

Interested parties are looking at both the former library and Norwich Enterprise Centre in Guildhall Hill 

Interested parties are looking at both the former library and Norwich Enterprise Centre in Guildhall Hill - Credit: Ben Hardy

Two different buyers have expressed an interest in taking on the city's former Library restaurant and the vacant business hub next door. 

Chartered surveyors Roche has been holding discussions regarding the former Norwich Enterprise Centre and the now closed-down eatery in Guildhall Hill. 

Roche partner Sam Kingston said two parties are "very interested" in taking on both sites with the sale potentially going through in the new year. 

Mr Kingston said: "We know the people are looking at both buildings and we hope to conclude it relatively early in 2022.

"Another retail or leisure option is possible but they are the two markets which have taken the biggest pounding during the pandemic with changing retail habits and what people do with money." 

The former library and restaurant located next to the former Norwich Enterprise Centre in Guildhall Hill

The former library and restaurant located next to the former Norwich Enterprise Centre in Guildhall Hill - Credit: Ben Hardy

The former Library restaurant closed in July 2019 having been run by Jayne and Nigel Raffles for 13 years.

At the time of its closure, the building had rates of £20,000 and a lease running for 15 years with Brown & Co now acting as agents for that particular property. 

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A spokeswoman for Brown & Co was not able to disclose any updates on the progress for the site, but Mr Kingston said Roche had been talking to interested parties about both vacant sites.

The building operated as a library between 1837 and 1976 and has recently seen homeless people sheltering in the doorway.

Meanwhile, the former enterprise centre has been vacant for more than a year. 

The vacant former Norwich Enterprise Centre in Guildhall Hill

The vacant former Norwich Enterprise Centre in Guildhall Hill - Credit: Ben Hardy

Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID, said: "The two buildings are very different propositions with the enterprise centre more office space and the other lends itself to leisure and hospitality. 

"Both are really good sites which are centrally located. It is a great opportunity for businesses.

"The former library is an amazing building and would be a very good mixed use space.

"More and more people are expressing interest in spaces in the city as it begins to reopen and comes to life after the pandemic."

Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich Business Improvement District Picture: Sonya Duncan

Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich Business Improvement District (BID). - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival will be moving into the Guildhall this week, while the closure of Tesco Express to accommodate a new hotel is also taking place.

Mr Gurney believes the street is generating plenty of interest as a "vibrant part of the city".

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