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Date published: 4th August 2020

North Norfolk District Council has secured a double funding boost from Historic England and the Government through the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership to finance an exciting major regeneration project for North Walsham town centre.

The council has received an award of £975,000 from Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone scheme to renew and revive North Walsham’s historic town centre.

And additional funding to support this game-changing project for the town has come from the Government through the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, who have this week awarded £1.17m as part of the Getting Building Fund.

Historic England’s High Streets Heritage Action Zone scheme is designed to secure lasting improvements for towns’ historic cores and the communities who use them.

Leader of North Norfolk District Council, Cllr Sarah Bütikofer, commented: “High streets lie at the heart of communities but are under increasing pressure, which has been further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. This scheme in North Walsham will enhance the town’s historic character, making it a more attractive, safe and vibrant place for people to live, work and visit, ensuring the town’s long-term economic, social and environmental viability.

“The programme of works includes improvements to public spaces and passageways, better signage and repair and restoration of heritage buildings, all of which should help to provide a real lift to North Walsham, improving the experience enjoyed by residents and visitors to the town and provide an uplift in footfall to boost businesses.  There are particular opportunities for local retail and service businesses as we respond to the COVID situation as many people realise the benefit of shopping more locally and supporting local businesses, many of which have adapted their offer during COVID to meet the needs of their immediate communities”

The key features of the High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme will include:

  • Town centre “re-stitching” – Improved connectivity and access through the town via lokes and gateways including improved signage and heritage interpretation.
  • Building Improvement scheme – To support improvements to current buildings and business premises and support new business or uses of vacant spaces.
  • Market Place Public Realm improvement – Making the Market Place more accessible and attractive for users.
  • The Cedars (old council offices) repair and restoration of this Grade II listed building.

The successful programme was devised with the support of a strong local partnership between North Norfolk District Council, North Walsham Town Council and Regenerate North Walsham (RNW CIC) and community consultation and engagement will continue throughout the programme.

Alongside these physical works there will also be a range of community-led programming to bring the town’s rich history to life. It will celebrate the town’s incredible heritage and showcase its stories as well.

These include its role in the final battle of the 1381 Peasant’s Revolt and fascinating historical insights into the long-rumoured tunnels and cellars hidden beneath the historic town centre streets.

Alongside the awarded funding The National Lottery Heritage Fund is partnering with Historic England and investing £3 million in a complementary Cultural Programme. A consortium of local cultural groups and community organisations, including the North Walsham Heritage Group and Paston College, is being formed to create an exciting range of cultural programming to run alongside the scheme.

Last updated: 4th August 2020