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Wymondham club may stay

PUBLISHED: 09:48 24 February 2009 | UPDATED: 14:53 14 July 2010

The search for new premises for Wymondham Ex-servicemens' club has taken a new twist, with a less costly option for staying at the existing site now being investigated.

The search for new premises for Wymondham Ex-servicemens' club has taken a new twist, with a less costly option for staying at the existing site now being investigated.

The current premises, including the former Regal Cinema, are nearing the end of their lifespan and plans to sell the site and relocate were backed by members of the club in November. This was considered the most viable alternative, given the high costs of refurbishing or replacing the existing buildings.

Two potential locations have since been identified by property consultancy Bastin and Steward, who were commission to progress the project and gave an update at the club's annual meeting on Sunday.

However, the possibility of staying at the current site has not been ruled out, explained secretary Steve Slater, who has been given a £1,050,000 estimate by Norfolk building firm RG Carter to demolish the existing premises, dispose of the asbestos, and rebuild.

He said: “We enjoy having the cinema and people using it, but it is a white elephant we have to deal with.

“What came out of the meeting, after some heated discussion, is I am going to speak with RG Carter and ask for an estimate to demolish the cinema section and stay at the site retaining the club room. There is work to be done, as the problem is the cinema houses the toilet block and the electrics. It's quite a difficult project to separate ourselves from the cinema.”

Staying at the current site would please critics of the relocation plan, led by two former members of the club, who had called for counter proposals to be made at the annual meeting.

But it may still mean the loss of the old Regal which is a popular venue for nostalgic films shows attracting movie stars of the era.

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