Ambitious plans to upgrade St George’s Guildhall in King’s Lynn have been put on hold after a bid for Lottery funding failed.

West Norfolk Council had submitted a £2.7m bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to upgrade the 15th Century building in King Street, including improvements to the galleries and the installation of a new lift. However, the council announced this week that HLF turned down the bid.

West Norfolk councillor Elizabeth Nockolds, cabinet member for Culture, Heritage and Health, said: “We are obviously disappointed that our bid on this occasion was not successful. We have had excellent support from the HLF at a regional level in the past for The Walks, Greyfriars Tower, Stories of Lynn and most recently the South Gate.

“We understand from our grants officer at HLF that demand was incredibly high for this round of funding, and the competition at this national level is very intense.

“We have had tremendous support from users and organisations in King’s Lynn for this project and I am  disappointed for them too.”

The council had already received pledges towards the project of £10,000 from Alive Leisure which runs the nearby Corn Exchange, and £1,000 from Festival Too.

Cllr Nockolds said the council has received feedback on the proposal which it will consider before deciding what to do next.

A separate £500,00 funding application  has been made to the Arts Council to refurbish the interior of the historic building.