Date published: 10th May 2022

North Norfolk District Council and local partners are set to bid for Government cash to fund two exciting projects in the district – including a new swimming pool and multi-sports area in Fakenham and a major revamp of the cliff top gardens and North Lodge Park in Cromer.

In the Levelling Up Fund Round 2 Prospectus published by the Government in March, North Norfolk was identified as a Priority 1 area for support - meaning the Government was keen to see applications for projects to be submitted under the programme from the district and has provided £125,000 of funding to support the development of good quality proposals.

After carefully considering the programme criteria and reviewing the list of 105 successful bids under round one of the programme in 2021, the Council’s Cabinet has proposed the District Council will lead on the development and submission of two applications, which are to be discussed at a meeting of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday (May 11).

The bids are as follows:

Broadland Constituency Area - Fakenham Swimming Pool / improved Sports Facilities at Fakenham Sports Centre, Trap Lane, Fakenham

Proposals to provide a 25-metre public swimming pool and improved outdoor sports facilities (full size 2G surface for competitive hockey and tennis) with pavilion to provide outdoor sports changing facilities on land owned by the Town Council at Trap Lane, Fakenham.

There is significant community support for the provision of a 25 metre public swimming pool and improved sports facilities in Fakenham following the loss of dated facilities in recent years on the former Fakenham College site.

Initial discussions with representatives of the Town Council indicated strong support for a proposed Levelling Up project to provide a swimming pool and new sports facilities in the town, with Fakenham Mayor Gilly Foortse commenting:

“We are pleased that NNDC are revisiting and supporting Fakenham Town Council’s proposals for the provision of sports facilities at Trap Lane.  This formed part of our previous submission to the Community Renewal Fund bid. 

“We have long deplored the loss of sports facilities when the Grammar school was closed and have been keen to replace them.  We are therefore delighted that in addition, NNDC is looking to address the provision of a public swimming pool in our town.  There is a huge groundswell of support for such a facility in Fakenham which is a significant local hub serving a very large area of north-west Norfolk.   The benefits of re-creating lost facilities are inestimable, not least that our young will be able to experience a wide range of sports and compete in them. 

“We look forward to working with the District Council in developing and submitting this Levelling Up bid for Fakenham.

North Norfolk Constituency Area - investment in regenerating cliff top gardens and open space in Cromer (North Lodge Park, Runton Road sunken gardens and Happy Valley) and further capital investment in Cromer Pier

A Levelling Up proposal in Cromer could include some or all of the following:

  • Delivery of a comprehensive regeneration programme of North Lodge Park to include provision of new toilets, redevelopment of concession space in the former Seaview Pre-School Building; refurbished shelters, new structural planting schemes which strengthen and regenerate the park with less input and maintenance than seasonal bedding plants which historically the park provided; refurbishment of the Collectors Cabin and securing new uses for the former hard surfaced (tennis court) area in conjunction with the Friends of North Lodge Park and Cromer Town Council
  • Regeneration of the Runton Road sunken gardens to provide new planting with water tolerant plants, new street furniture - lighting, benches, shelters, BBQ sites, litter bins, and signage
  • Resurfacing of the clifftop path along Runton Road
  • Refurbishment of shelters on the West Cliff / Runton Road gardens
  • Provision of new surfaced disabled and coach parking at Runton Road car park, plus upgraded public toilets and provision of a Changing Place facility
  • Replacement of the Marrams Bowling Club Pavilion
  • renewed public paths, steps and railings to beach from East Cliff,
  • new planting / management regimes in Warren Woods, Links Wood and Happy Valley, and new play equipment at Happy Valley
  • potential provision of surfaced path for cycles, mobility scooters and walkers from Cromer East Cliff through Happy Valley and Links Woods to Overstrand Road
  • programme of further investment in Cromer Pier based on recent condition survey

Initial discussions have been held with representatives of Cromer Town Council and the Friends of North Lodge Park, who have indicated their strong support for the proposals.

Cromer Mayor Pat West commented:

“It is very exciting for Cromer Town Council to be involved in this Levelling Up proposal for Cromer. It will allow for further growth of our community, through this investment. Cromer is a beautiful town,  and this will ensure it remains that way for generations to come. We look forward to the sunken gardens being restored to their former glory. It will be amazing to see North Lodge Park becoming, once again,  a much loved and enjoyed area of Cromer. This will benefit the entire community, residents, visitors and businesses. Cromer Town Council fully supports this proposal.”

NNDC Leader Cllr Tim Adams said:

“The Council has carefully considered the opportunities presented in the Round 2 Levelling Up Fund prospectus and through conversations with local communities and stakeholders believes the projects proposed at Fakenham and Cromer represent the best chance for North Norfolk to present strong applications to Government for funding from this competitive programme. 

“The choice around Fakenham was immediately obvious to us. It’s a fantastic town with a really strong retail presence but we’ve known for a while that there were some gaps in public sports and leisure provision. The choice in terms of a swimming pool proposal was clear and compelling and we’ve no doubt it will be popular with residents. We’re really pleased to be working together with the Town Council on this bid.

“In Cromer where we’ve invested heavily in essential pier works and other areas in previous years, we haven’t been able to also carry out work on the clifftop and North Lodge Park areas. It’s work that has very much needed to be done and this bid provides us the opportunity to potentially bring about real improvements for the benefit of residents and visitors – and again we’re delighted to be working closely with the Town Council in Cromer on this aspect of the bid.

“The District Council will now allocate resources and work with local stakeholders in Fakenham and Cromer to develop the strongest possible applications by the bid deadline of July 6.”

Last updated: 12th April 2023