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About us

Crowds gathered outside The Forum for Run Norwich

The Forum is an iconic public building in the heart of Norwich.

The Forum is the home of the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library, Norwich Tourist Information Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau Norwich, PizzaExpress, Café Bar Marzano, The Forum Shop by Jarrold and BBC East.  

You will find an eclectic mix of events and activities, food and drink, shopping, information services and the most popular public library in the UK. Organisations from across the region host events inside and outside the building - from markets, fairs and exhibitions to community celebrations, charity events and live performances.  

The Forum is managed by The Forum Trust, an independent, self-financing educational charity. The Forum Trust creates a year-round programme of free events which celebrate the talent and achievements of people in the Eastern region.  

The Forum Trust produces Norwich Science Festival, Norwich Games Festival, Norfolk Makers’ Festival and Heritage Open Days, and supports community events including Run Norwich and Norfolk Disability Pride.  

The Forum Trust’s events, and the upkeep of the building, are supported by our commercial activities including The Forum car park, venue hire and renting space to our tenant organisations. 

Forum Facts 

  • The Forum is built on the site of the old Norwich Central Library which was devastated by fire in 1994, destroying many books and precious documents and forcing its closure. 
  • Before build began on The Forum, extensive archaeological investigations were carried out by Norfolk Archaeological Unit. The site lies at the heart of an area known in The Middle Ages as The French Borough. The Borough was established as a colony of French traders after the Norman Conquest, between 1071 and 1075. 
  • The Forum was designed by the award-winning architect, Sir Michael Hopkins. 
  • The building opened to the public in2001 and was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2002. 
  • There are 1,235 panes of glass in the building or 18,000 square metres - that's equivalent to 3.5 football pitches 
  • The Forum’s glass facade is 15 meters or five storeys high 
  • The building was designed to take advantage of the thermal mass of concrete, thereby reducing energy consumption 
  • Approximately 1.8 million people visit The Forum every year  
  • The entire 3rd floor of The Forum houses a heating and cooling plant, air handling units and a whole host of other technology to keep the building running 
  • Millennium Plain, the public space outside The Forum, was named in recognition of the Millennium Commission’s major contribution to the capital funding of The Forum project