Reinvented: Heritage Triangle project is formally opened in Diss
It was a day for the history books on Wednesday as the Heritage Triangle in Diss held its formal opening at The Corn Hall.
After ten years of work, the project has cost £3.1m to complete.
The funding covered a £1.8m refurbishment and extension of the Corn Hall.
Guests gathered at the historic art venue, where speeches were followed by a tour of the triangle and the new boardwalk on the Mere.
Project manager for the Heritage Triangle, Sheila King, spoke from a lectern originally used at the Corn Hall.
She said: “This project has developed the Corn Hall, changed the streetscape, developed the gardens, the floating boardwalk and terrace, produced interpretation that tells people about the history, and developed the Triangle Trust to look after it.”
The project here is a wonderful example of Diss reinventing and reasserting itself in a truly vibrant way
The project has had more than 250 volunteers, 23 funders, and an unknown number of provide individuals and local businesses who contributed £125,000.
Helen Wilson, Chair of the East of England Committee for the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “This has been a very exciting project.
“We are now at a point in our history where market towns are having to reinvent themselves.
“The project here is a wonderful example of Diss reinventing itself and reasserting in a truly vibrant way.”
Diss’s mayor, Trevor Wenman, said: “We are immensely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund because they saw our vision of creating a 21st century arts venue from a 19th century Corn Hall and transforming a neglected corner of an ancient town to become once again its thriving hub.”
Diss Town Council leader Graham Minshull said the transformation had been “spectacular” and was a fantastic achievement for the town.
“The opening of the triangle is a milestone for the town and the project.
“I think the Heritage Triangle has created a better place for pedestrians and disabled people, and businesses are started to feel the benefits of the programme.”