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Print museum pledge fails to quell objections to Jarrold’s housing bid

PUBLISHED: 16:50 04 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:50 04 January 2019

The John Jarrold Print Museum during one of the Heritage Open Days. Pic: Sonya Brown.

The John Jarrold Print Museum during one of the Heritage Open Days. Pic: Sonya Brown.

Archant

Campaigners have urged councillors to reject a bid for hundreds of homes, offices and a hotel on a Norwich city centre site - because they are unhappy with plans to relocate a museum.

John Jarrold Print Museum could be moved as part of the redevelopment of the Barrack Street site. Pic: Sonya Brown.John Jarrold Print Museum could be moved as part of the redevelopment of the Barrack Street site. Pic: Sonya Brown.

Plans were lodged with City Hall last year to develop the former Jarrold Printworks site in Barrack Street, including for 218 new homes.

But the development would see an annexe to St James Mill - home of the John Jarrold Printing Museum - demolished.

Created in 1982, the museum reflects on Jarrold’s time as a printer and publisher in the 19th and 20th centuries.

It contains letterpress and lithography items, among other artefacts.

The Barrack Street redevelopment site.
 Pic: Simon Finlay.The Barrack Street redevelopment site. Pic: Simon Finlay.

Open one morning a week and on Heritage Open Days, it has about 1,000 visitors a year and is staffed by 22 volunteers from a membership of about 60 people.

Fears for the future of the museum sparked a campaign and dozens of objections to the scheme.

In November, applicants Hill Residential Ltd and Jarrold (St James) Ltd, tried to assauge fears over the museum’s future by pledging it would be relocated on the site.

But objections have continued to be sent to Norwich City Council. Objectors say the new museum would have less than half the floorspace of the current one and would only house about a third of the artefacts.

Among objectors was Dr Paul Nash, chair of the National Printing Heritage Committee, who said: “The revised proposal makes poor provision for the museum and will result in the loss of most of its holdings and, in the longer term, its function as a working museum, leaving only a static display of limited size.”

The London-based Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers also objected, saying: “This museum houses a unique collection of working historical printing machinery and the UK desperately needs it to survive fully intact.”

Jarrold says the relocation plans will enable the key parts of the company’s private collection to be preserved and will make them more accessible to the general public.

The company says the new-look museum will display and explain equipment and mean some key machinery can still be operated and demonstrated by volunteers.

Norwich City Council will make a decision in due course.

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