A key component to unlocking the potential for thousands of homes and jobs to be created in east Norwich is the newly agreed purchase of the Carrow House complex.
The city council is set to agree the purchase from the county council as part of Towns Deal proposals which is due for consideration at its next cabinet meeting on 20 January – a move which will accelerate the regeneration of east Norwich to create a new urban quarter.
As a high quality addition to the city, it has the potential to create 4,000 new homes and 6,000 jobs which could make it the biggest development opportunity in the east of England.
Alan Waters, leader of the city council, said: “Our purchase of Carrow House is a significant milestone for our plans to regenerate this area of the city as it involves refurbishing and repurposing the Grade II building to provide over 50,000 square feet of meanwhile space for professional and business services whilst the future of the area is determined by the masterplanning exercise.
“This would be enough for 420 jobs in a prominent location just east of the city centre and with close proximity to the train station. This is why the Carrow House purchase is a real landmark moment in what could be one of the most exciting regeneration projects ever seen in the city.
“The Covid pandemic has forced us to re-evaluate our approach in achieving our long term ambitions. This development will support the city in strengthening its place within the UK and global economy and this investment is the gateway to making it happen.”
Cllr Greg Peck, cabinet member for commercial services and asset management at Norfolk County Council said:
“Working with the city council allows us to support the vision for East Norwich while securing a significant capital receipt for Norfolk County Council. The sale marks the completion of a successful project that will see the relocation of hundreds of staff from Carrow House, allowing us to provide a more effective and cost-efficient service to Norfolk Taxpayers.
“Norfolk County Council have selected Norwich City Council as their preferred purchaser for the Carrow House in Norwich after the site went on the open market earlier this year. The bids have now been independently assessed and examined on both their value to the taxpayer and deliverability.”
As detailed in the city council’s Norwich Town Deal bid report, the City Council is in line to receive a £4.1m grant to purchase and refurbish the property – a sum which is part of the wider £25m pot of money it received from the government’s Towns Fund initiative. The proposed purchase is conditional on actually receiving the grant offered and is expected to be complete in spring.
The plans for east Norwich supports two of the key themes of the city council’s Covid-19 recovery plan: business and the local economy; housing, regeneration and development.