Merchants` Place was created in 2006 to provide a Learning and Resource Centre in Cromer as part of the CER (Community Economic Regeneration) initiative as developed by the Cromer Regeneration Partnership.
Merchants` Place is run by Merchants’ Place Ltd (formerly – Cromer Past Present Future Ltd) a non-profit making company, generating all of its income through room hire and business service provision. It receives no assistance from local government.
The centre was funded as part of the £1.2m Cromer Community Economic Regeneration Package through the East of England Objective 2 European Union Structural Funds programme and the East of England Development Agency, with other contributions from Norfolk County Council, North Norfolk District Council and Cromer Town Council.
The centre is a successful part of the community offering access to essential services for the people of Cromer and the surrounding areas.
The centre acts as a community hub offering advice and guidance on a wide range of issues such as learning and training opportunities, careers advice and job search support, business start-up advice and local training provision including basic skills such as Maths, English and IT. It is widely used by other agencies such as Citizens Advice Bureau & Norfolk Community Law Service for outreach sessions.
To augment the centre’s income rooms are hired for conferences, private training and community activities. There is a shared office space with the provision for 9 hotdesks for short and long term hire.
The National Market Town Awards
In July 2007 Merchants Place received a prestigious National award after winning the regional finals from Action for Market Towns, as the best market town initiative in the country. Action for Market Towns is an organisation dedicated to promoting the vitality and viability of small towns.