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Date published: 14th September 2019

North Norfolk District Council has received an agreement in principle from Historic England, securing funding to create a High Streets Heritage Action Zone in North Walsham. 

The Council has secured an offer of up to £975,000, with the final amount subject to the successful completion of a Programme Design which will set out the Council’s plans for the historic town.

The funding follows a successful bid to Historic England’s nationwide scheme that has been set up to breathe new life into historic town centres across the country.

Working with Historic England, North Norfolk District Council is looking forward to developing an ambitious design programme that will see improvements, restoration and repairs made to buildings of historical significance in North Walsham, thus improving its townscape for the benefit of the strong local community and visitors to the town.

The successful bid for the funding was devised with the support of a strong local partnership and the Council intends to continue to engage with the community during the design phase.  It will work together with North Walsham Town Council, Regenerate North Walsham CIC and other community partners to focus on how improvements can be made to enhance the town’s historic character while ensuring its long-term economic, social and environmental viability.

Dating from Anglo-Saxon times, North Walsham is one of Norfolk’s most historically significant towns. Its heritage stories are interesting and varied. From its medieval establishment the town was an important weaving town and the site of the final battle in the 1381 Peasants Revolt. Later the 1600 fire destroyed much of the medieval town and gave rise to the Georgian buildings seen in the Market Place today. Paston College also boasts notable heritage links with alumni including Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson, who attended the grammar school in the 1700s and Stephen Fry who was more recently expelled from the college.

Cllr Virginia Gay, North Norfolk District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Culture and Wellbeing, said: “North Walsham is a wonderful medieval market town, with associations with Nelson and the Paston family. Its historic core is abundant with heritage assets, which will be a key aspect of its future regeneration.

“As well as the physical improvements that the High Streets Heritage Action Zone will bring, our project will help reinforce the pride that the town’s active community has in its cultural heritage. We are delighted to have the opportunity of working with Historic England to bring about the investments in North Norfolk’s most historic town.”

The project is expected to get underway following the Programme Design phase in April 2020.

Last updated: 14th September 2019