‘Long Live HMSO’ – New graffiti message appears on Anglia Square building

‘Long Live HMSO’ was spraypainted across the wall of Sovereign House in Botolph Street around a week after the £300m revamp of the Anglia Square shopping centre was scrapped by developers. 

HMSO refers to His Majesty’s Stationery Office, a government service that used Sovereign House as its headquarters from 1968 when the building was first completed.

READ MORE: Norwich City Council to ask for millions for Anglia Square

Norwich Evening News: The building was set to be demolished as part of the Anglia Square refurbThe building was set to be demolished as part of the Anglia Square refurb (Image: Adrian Judd)

It remained there until the mid-1990s when the service became privatised and the building was left to fall into disrepair. 

Once home to more than 800 workers, the building has long been a source of controversy as city folk either view the building as a dilapidated eyesore or a nostalgic example of post-war Brutalist architecture. 

The building, which towers over Anglia Square, was set to be demolished as part of the recent redevelopment scheme of the site which was due to create 1,100 new homes, as well as office, retail and leisure space.

READ MORE: ‘Something has to be done with Anglia Square’ – MP hopeful makes planning plea

Norwich Evening News: Sovereign House is a favourite spot for local graffiti artistsSovereign House is a favourite spot for local graffiti artists (Image: Denise Bradley)

Developers Weston Homes pulled out of the refurb due to a “multitude of issues” which meant it was not financially viable.

The firm criticised the Conservative government and the nutrient neutrality directive, which blocked the building of new homes, and said it was among the factors that pushed up costs.

Norwich City Council leader Mike Stonard has now said he plans to ask the government for millions of pounds to save the scheme as the future of the site hangs in the balance. 

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