Multi-million pound heritage project to bring Wisbech Corn Exchange back to former glory
- Credit: Archant
It majestically stands at the entrance to the Capital of the Fens and now a £10 million major heritage project is hoping to restore the Wisbech Corn Exchange back to its former glory.
The historic venue - which once held host to The Rolling Stones – could be brought back to life as a community hub in the form of a cinema or dance hall.
It comes as it opened to the public for the first time in 28 years this weekend as part of the Heritage Open Day’s event.
The unique building was on display as visitors took part in guided tours and viewed memorabilia from its heyday.
The Wisbech Corn Exchange Conservation Trust say that they hope to “restore and reveal” original heritage features as well as provide more seating and a magnificent new viewing gallery and audience circulation space.
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Trust chairman Norman Jacobs Jnr, whose father Norman Jacobs Sr rented the building from 1948, said that the building needs to be a “multi-purpose space” for the 21st century.
Speaking on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, he said: “The trust is to conserve the past and restore the building because part of its grandeur is because it’s so old.
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“We hope to gain enough support from local and national organisations so that we can require funding to renovate the place and bring it back to what it once was.
“We have to make sure its what people want, so it could be something like a cinema or dance hall or roller skating hall.
“There used to be a glass ceiling which we would like to restore too.
“I think it could well be a £10 million project to really bring it up to the present.”
Local Historian Kevin Rodgers added: “It would be a great space to the community and it’s a wonderful building.
“We definitely need to get it back into use again and restored to its former glory. This is pure nostalgia.”
The Corn Exchange became a regular place for public entertainment throughout the 19th century - from Shakespeare recitations to dancing, rollerskating, wrestling and bingo.
For more information on the project, visit their Facebook page at Wisbech Corn Exchange Conservation Trust.