New use for Marble Hall

Article date: 20 February 2003

Marble Hall, one of Norwich Union’s oldest and finestbuildings, is to be opened up as a public facility so it can beenjoyed by the people of Norwich and visitors to the area.

Norwich Union will get together next month with a group ofpeople with wide-ranging experience and knowledge of local tourismand commerce to explore possible uses for the future of the Grade Ilisted Georgian building in Surrey Street, which is currently usedas office accommodation.

The company will retain ownership of Marble Hall and willcontinue to pay basic running costs, including heating, lightingand maintenance.

But the associated costs of any future use are expected to beself-financing and will be independently managed.

Any potential use will have to be sensitive to the fabric ofMarble Hall. It may, for example, be converted for use as some formof museum or art gallery – but it will not be turned into afood, drink or retail outlet.

Ian Butterworth, managing director of Norwich Union CentralServices, said he was delighted that the building would be openedup for the enjoyment of the wider public.

“Marble Hall is recognised both locally and nationally asa valuable civic asset, and we are hoping to create a new use forit which will protect its future so that the people of Norwich andvisitors to the city can enjoy its splendour for years tocome,” he said.

“We are working to make sure the use is appropriate, andthat it will give us a facility of which the city can bejustifiably proud.”

Norwich Union is working on the project with representatives oflocal groups including Norfolk County Council’s Museums andArchaeology Service, Norwich City Council and Norwich Area TourismAgency.

They will all get together on March 3 to develop some ideas,after which a shortlist of proposals will be drawn up for furtherdiscussion. It is hoped that an outline decision will be reached bythe end of the year, with a view to an external body taking overmanagement of the building.

There are approximately 60 Norwich Union staff currently workingin Marble Hall, who will all relocate to more appropriate sites atthe end of March.

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Media contact:
Louise Zucchi, Norwich Union Press Office - 01603 684506

  • Pictures of Marble Hall are available

Notes to editors:

  • Norwich Union Insurance is the UK's largest insurer with amarket share of around 16 per cent and is more than 1.5 times thesize of its nearest rival. It is also the largest personal linesinsurer.
  • It has a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses. It insures:
    • one in five households
    • one in five motor vehicles
    • more than 700,000 businesses
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