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Thetford Riverside Development

The Riverside development was built on the site of the old Bus Station and Anchor Hotel, and was completed in September 2016. It is joint venture between Breckland Council and The Land Group, through the Breckland Bridge partnership.

The current tenants at the site are:

with the remaining three units being empty.

The grassed area by the river also hosts On The Green a series of free events and activities over the summer.

The Thetford Riverside development, photographed in October 2019.

Development and Site History

The development came about following the move of Thetford Bus Station and the demolition of the Anchor Hotel, which formerly occupied the site. Breckland Council invested £8M in the development. The Travelodge hotel and The Light cinema are anchor tenants who agreed contracts before the development progressed. Five additional units were created on the ground floor, with planning permission granted for food and drink outlets to occupy them.

Construction work started in Spring 2015. The hotel opened in October 2016 and the cinema in December 2016, but Breckland struggled to find tenants for the other units. Grand Central (a 130-seat American diner style restaurant) took on the lease for the largest unit in April 2017. With no firm interest from other restaurants, Breckland decided to consider other uses for the remaining unlet units. In June 2018 planning application 3PL/2018/0227/F was granted for the a gym to occupy three of the units at the south end of the building. Snap Fitness opened in October 2018.

In April 2019, it was noted that the lease and business for Grand Central was up for sale. A property listing on gave a price of £350k for the business and the remainder of the 20-year lease, with rent agreed at £40k per year until 2020, then rising gradually to £66k. In January 2020, Grand Central was rebranded as Burger Brats. This new incarnation didn't reopen after the Covid-19 Pandemic. The restaurant changed hands and was re-opened as a combined "Dough&Co / Burger Amour" outlet. This too closed in early 2024.

In May 2021, the Kinetic Science Foundation submitted a change of use planning application 3PL/2021/0524/F, to allow them to use the final unit as a a mini science centre to inspire young people. Some work took place at the site, but the proposed centre never fully opened. By 2024, the unit was being advertised as available to rent again.

Documents and Media Coverage