The team hoping to keep a historic West Norfolk building open as a place for exhibitions and performances has disbanded.
Shakespeare’s Guildhall Trust oversaw the building, which is owned by the National Trust and leased to the borough council, and aimed to support plans to develop it further.
In a statement issued by the trust, it says: “While very effective over the years in raising the profile of the Guildhall and opposing unsuitable council proposals for the site, SGT has recently found it difficult to have a meaningful engagement with the council’s project.
“Consultation by the Council partnership has been limited and unsatisfactory in nature, culminating in a bid for money which may not reflect the needs of the community users of the site. Most concerning has been the development of over-optimistic and unrealistic financial, operational and managerial plans for the site which we fear would not deliver a sustainable future. Our exclusion from constructive discussion of these developments and the failure to draw upon its expertise in relevant areas has been a great disappointment.”
It says the council is now setting up its own trust to oversee the project. The statement adds: “It is with great regret that, as a consequence of the current situation and the likely development of the next stage of the project, SGT believes that there is no future for its continued operation within the framework of a charitable trust (which limits its areas of activity).
“SGT trustees have therefore formally decided that the charity should be wound down in accordance with the regulations of the Charity Commission and that we should not continue to raise funds. The closure process will take some time to ensure that all SGT’s existing commitments are properly satisfied and we expect formal closure to be some time in the autumn.”