'It's very exciting' - Community venue plans at crunch stage

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. Pictures: Britta

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

A former pub and restaurant is moving a step closer to finally being brought back to use after standing derelict for months. 

Sprowston Town Council has confirmed it is ready to submit a planning application for the Viking Centre in Tills Road imminently. 

It is understood this could be submitted to Broadland District Council as soon as next week.

The town council held a consultation event for the former Royal Bengal Restaurant and Viking Public House in January in which the public were invited to have their say.

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. Pictures: Britta

The Viking Centre in Sprowston - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

Having been vacant since mid-2019, the Viking Centre was purchased by the town council in June last year with a view to it becoming a community asset. 

The application is close to being lodged once the town council has resolved an issue involving a privately-owned mast next to the Viking Centre. 

A 3D artist's impression showing the proposed front of the Viking Centre looking north 

A 3D artist's impression showing the proposed front of the Viking Centre looking north - Credit: Paul Robinson Partnership

John Ward, Conservative county councillor for Sprowston, said: "The application is all ready to be submitted.

"There has been a slight delay because we have got that mast right on the boundary and we need to have access to that.

"The town clerk is just trying to ascertain from the owners what width of access they need."

The council has previously said it has plans to let out rooms at the site to organisations and groups within Sprowston.

This led to interest from the likes of the Sprowston Youth Engagement Project which provides a safe space for teenagers to socialise.

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Mr Ward added: "It is still early days but there has been a lot of initial interest. We will be pushing it out to the people of Sprowston further down the line.

"Just like the Diamond Centre, it will generally be for the people of Sprowston to use."

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. John Ward, Town

Sprowston county councillor John Ward outside the Viking Centre in Tills Road - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

Sprowston town clerk Guy Ranaweera said: "The Viking is very close to a planning submission. It's very exciting."

The town council will be releasing more information on its intentions for the site in due course.

The Viking Pub closed in 2007 before being turned into the Royal Bengal Indian restaurant from 2010 until mid-2019.

Consultation opened for public to have their say on the Viking Centre in Sprowston. Pictures: Britta

Inside the Viking Centre in Sprowston's Tills Road - Credit: Brittany Woodman/ Archant

It was boarded up after being targeted by vandals following the closure of the pub.