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Architects chosen to move Maltings project forward

PUBLISHED: 10:54 23 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:58 07 July 2010

Chris Hill

A specialist firm of architects has been appointed to design plans which could secure the future of key community buildings in the heart of Wells.

Cambridge-based RH Partnership Architects were asked to develop a feasibility study including designs and a business case for revitalising the Maltings and the neighbouring Sackhouse building.

A specialist firm of architects has been appointed to design plans which could secure the future of key community buildings in the heart of Wells.

Cambridge-based RH Partnership Architects were asked to develop a feasibility study including designs and a business case for revitalising the Maltings and the neighbouring Sackhouse building.

It is the first major community scheme to emerge from the draft Wells for the Future report produced by development consultants Bluefish in November.

The document listed project ideas for regenerating key areas of the town, including suggestions for a new museum, arts venue and enterprise centre at the complex on Staithe Street.

And now the Wells Maltings Project Group, formed from community groups and local authorities, have appointed RH Partnership to convert the ambitious ideas into realistic plans.

Project group chairman Peter Lynn, of the Wells Area Partnership, said: “The Maltings complex has a special place at the heart of the town, and without investment it would face an uncertain future.

“We can get that investment, thanks to the regeneration partnership that has come together in the town, but we need to know what we will be investing in.”

“Any development at the Maltings has to be something that the town wants, and it has to be something that can be sustained well into the future. RH Partnership is superbly qualified to come up with proposals that fit those criteria.”

The company's design, research and consultation activities, partly funded by a £25,000 grant from the Sea Change Fund, are expected to last three months.

North Norfolk's community projects manager John Mullen said: “The project is central to the wider ambitions of community support being taken forward by the North Norfolk Community Partnership and will act as a model for future activity that will see community benefits elsewhere in North Norfolk.”

The Wells Project Group is a regeneration partnership comprising the town, district and county councils, the Benjamin Foundation and East of England Development Agency (EEDA).

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