Arena plans expected to bring windfall to city

Block Norwich

Block Norwich, as seen from Rose Lane. - Credit: Ellis Williams Architects

Plans to transform a grotty scrub of land in the city into a 300-seat arena could pour thousands into the local economy and create droves of jobs, it has been revealed. 

Block Norwich, a venue which would be built out of shipping containers in a disused car park off Mountergate, will go before the planning committee next week. 

Now the developer behind the site has revealed that nearby business could also see a surge in spending. 

Teampartner Three, one of the companies behind the plans, said: "Evidence from visitor surveys at other pop-up venues show that these development have contributed to the wider offer in their communities.

The Block, Norwich

An image showing how the entrance to Block Norwich could look. - Credit: Ellis Williams Architects

"On average at Pop Brixton research showed that people spent £10 at the venue and a further £5 in the wider community. Around 50pc of visitors to the venue also visited other locales in the towns."

And a total of 50 jobs would immediately be created at the venue if it is given the green light James Bradbury, managing director of Teampartner Three, said. 

He added: "Places nearby might want to stay open later, staff weekends need more staff. We want to support our brothers and sisters in this industry - especially after the year they've had."

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Mr Bradbury added that the venue would present "opportunities for people who have always wanted to run their own businesses".

"They will be able to operate with very low overheads which is ideal for people just leaving education and for people who would like a change of direction with their careers," he said.  

"This would enable them to be responsible for their own destiny - working in a thriving, dynamic, enjoyable culture."

Block Norwich

An overhead view of the proposed Block Norwich venue. - Credit: Ellis Williams Architects

Ahead of the last meeting, the council's environmental protection officer made several recommendations for reducing noise on the site, including a device that would shut off the sound system if it went above a certain volume.  

However, the noise impact assessment was disputed by South Norfolk Council leader John Fuller, who owns property near the site.