The Diss Youth and Community Centre in Shelfanger Road can be a self-sustaining success in the same way as the Corn Hall, the mayor has said.
Diss Town Council has agreed to work on a vision for the future of the building, donated to the town by an anonymous benefactor who bought it from the county council in an astonishing turn of events in the summer of 2011. The building was about to be sold off.
Mayor Neil Howard told the Diss Express: “Things are very positive at the moment we are going to take forward and make it even better for everybody.”
Currently the centre is breaking even for the council - the money received from users broadly covers its costs.
The centre’s current users include Slimming World, and classes for judo, zumba dancing, tai chi and a prayer group.
A small steering group including town councillors Simon Olander and Keith Kiddie, and youth worker Sam Mason, has been guiding the project since it was handed to the town, but will be disbanded at the end of the year.
Mr Howard praised their work and the town council has now agreed to form a management committee, and also want to apply for charitable status, which should make grant funding easier to attract.
A strategy and implementation plan will be put forward by consultant Sheila Moss King, who is also working on the current £2.5 million Heritage Triangle project in the town.
Mr Howard said: “The success of the Corn Hall is a testament to how it could work here.
“It has to be there predominantly to serve the youth of the area. I don’t think we’ve explored its full potential.”
Currently the venue’s timetable is barely half-full with bookings, and the office space on the upper floor is currently not being rented out.
Mr Howard said that if this was utilised, then even more