Hopes of new lease of life for derelict pub in city
- Credit: Archant/Sprowston Town Council
A neighbourhood is hoping to see a former pub and restaurant become an asset for the community after lying vacant for months.
Sprowston Town Council has just launched a consultation for the Viking Centre - formerly known as the Royal Bengal Restaurant and Viking Public House - in Tills Road.
The council has purchased the site which has been vacant since mid-2019 and has been targeted by vandals while it was boarded up in recent months.
People living nearby have now been offered the opportunity to share their hopes for the site with the town council running drop-in consultation sessions this month.
Christian Martin, 49, lives opposite the building and used to play darts as an 18-year-old when the pub was still in existence.
He also used to run the deliveries for the Indian restaurant.
Mr Martin said: "It was a brilliant pub back in the day and used to be very busy.
"I had a word with the council as I want it to be used for people living around here and the community as a whole."
Luke Taylor, 41, also lives in Tills Road and believes the council's purchase is a positive step for Sprowston.
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Mr Taylor said: "It's been semi-derelict for far too long and it would be nice to see it used for something for the community to benefit from."
A 44-year-old woman, who has lived in Tills Road for 20 years and did not wish to be named, said a pub would no longer be appropriate for the area due to the amount of young families and children now living nearby.
She added: "There are not many places for youngsters to go around here so it does need something doing to it."
Clare Lincoln, project leader of the Sprowston Youth Engagement Project, is among those interested in making use of the venue.
Sprowston town clerk Guy Ranaweera: "The council's proposal for the former Viking pub is based on a survey of local community groups and a review of the facilities in the area.
"I am very pleased that to date, public responses to the consultation have been highly supportive."
The public consultation drop-in sessions will be held at the Viking Centre on Tuesday, January 18 from 10am to 1pm and Wednesday, January 19 from 6pm to 8pm.