When the school was abandoned in 2013, local residents and town councillors rallied together to save the building from demolition. Community groups and start-up businesses said they'd like to use parts of the site – old maths classrooms or the science block. The organisers welcomed a dance school, a cheerleading squad, the model railway club; a graphics company even set up shop in the old swimming pool. The roofs were caving in, walls were crumbling, a tarantula was found in one of the old classrooms. With grit, passion and community spirit, the entire building has been refurbished and turned into an inspiring community hub.
In 2015, the Charles Burrell Centre was formally established. Since then, it has grown rapidly in size and impact. Now a thriving community and business centre, CBC is home to more than 50 organisations, over 80 weekly activities and a vast array of services to improve quality of life for the people of Thetford.