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Iconic Ipswich hotel The Great White Horse Hotel secures £100,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund to kickstart long-term restoration project

The long-term future of one of Ipswich’s most iconic hotels may be secure after winning nearly £100,000 in funding.

The Great White Horse Hotel, in Tavern Street, has been awarded £99,400 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which would kickstart the first stage of a major restoration project.

Over the next 12 months, The Great White Horse community interest company (CIC) will carry out essential surveys and condition reports which will allow it to begin renovation work.

The long-term future of The Great White Horse Hotel may be secure. Picture: Ash Jones
The long-term future of The Great White Horse Hotel may be secure. Picture: Ash Jones

The grade II-listed building was placed on Historic England’s at-risk register in November.

Sandeep Dayal, from the CIC, has been a driving force in the project to restore the hotel.

He revealed the team would be exploring ways for the building to be used as a hotel and community hub.

He said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received this funding, which will enable us to take our plans forward and allow us to prepare for the major renovation of this historic asset.

“This is the first step in a major project, and we are pleased to see the lottery is supporting our vision.”

Mr Dayal said pop-up events will bring people from both inside and outside Ipswich to the hotel in a bid to create a community heritage hub in the heart of the town.

Over the course of the restoration, events will be held so visitors can see progress on the project and what needs to be done to restore the building.

Residents will also be given the opportunity to offer their suggestions on how the ground floor can best be used.

Mr Dayal added: “Without the support of National Lottery players, this famous building at the heart of Ipswich would not survive. Now there is hope.”

Terry Baxter, chairman of Ipswich Central Business Improvement District, said The Great White Horse securing funding was ‘wonderful news’ and described the building as a ‘local treasure’.

He added: “Heritage is so important to our town, it’s vital that buildings at risk be refurbished and brought back into use for the enjoyment of visitors to the town.”