We’re pleased to announce that we have achieved our full campaign target to create the National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall. With a £250K grant from FCC Environment through WREN, to help conserve the building’s heritage for future generations, ensure regular public access and create a contemporary education space for young people and communities from across Norwich and Norfolk, the target has now been reached.
As the lead Community Heritage Partner, FCC Environment’s support through WREN will enable renovation work to the Great Hall and Great Arch (which date back to the 1400s), secure full accessibility for deaf audiences, create a community garden and support the new education space. The National Centre for Writing will aim to engage 20,000 young people in its opening year of activity and will be a place for locals and visitors to discover stories from all over the world.
WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of Writers’ Centre Norwich, said:
“We are absolutely delighted by FCC Environment’s support through WREN’s and thank them wholeheartedly for this investment in us and the communities of Norwich and Norfolk. With 100% of our campaign target achieved we will create something very special, as we embark on the next chapter for our UNESCO City of Literature. We look forward to working with partners locally, nationally and internationally to realise a pioneering artistic project that puts Norwich firmly on the map as a world-class city of stories.”
Steve Longdon, FCC Environment Regional Director, said:
“We are delighted to have been able to support Writers’ Centre Norwich in their vision to create a National Centre for Writing. It is great for our business to be involved in the transformation of the 15th century Dragon Hall, which is an incredible building, and we look forward to seeing the education centre and community garden welcome the first of many visitors when it opens.”
Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, the largest funder of the pioneering creative project, said:
“This is an important moment for Writers’ Centre Norwich and we’re very proud to have been with them on this journey, not just through a large capital grant, but through National Portfolio funding as well. The team at Writers’ Centre Norwich has worked very hard to raise funds to make this build happen and the grant from WREN is the final piece of the puzzle.”
The build of the new South Wing office and education space is being led by John Youngs. General Manager of John Youngs, James Phillips, says:
“We are delighted to be able to support the construction phase of the project and believe the Writers’ Centre will be a fantastic addition to the city’s cultural offering. This funding will enable the site to be developed and restored in keeping with the original building, to create a unique space for the writers of tomorrow.”
The National Centre for Writing is backed by Patrons including Margaret Atwood, JM Coetzee and Ali Smith OBE and will open in summer 2018.