Date published: 25th November 2022
The improvements taking place in North Walsham town centre (as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone project, supported by Historic England) are, like every other capital works project, facing an unprecedented rise in the cost of materials, fuel and labour.
Despite this very real cost rise, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) remains resolute in its desire to support this truly transformational scheme for local residents and future visitors.
The once in a lifetime investment in North Walsham’s historic centre is key to delivering vibrant and energised spaces, which have been designed specifically for markets and events to take place, increasing customer footfall and business opportunities. The marketplace itself will boast widened footways and large paved areas, showcasing the town’s attractive historic buildings and features, with new seating, planters and cycle racks. There have also been improvements in Church Approach, creating a beautifully landscaped area for people to enjoy.
In light of the extraordinary cost increases since the scheme was first conceived in 2019 and despite revisions to the scope of the project and NNDC pre-purchasing some of the materials needed, the budget is under pressure. In response, a report is due to be considered by the Council’s Cabinet meeting on December 5 and will be recommending an additional budget of approximately 18%.
Richard Kershaw, Portfolio holder for Sustainable Growth, commented:
“We have been, and remain, fully committed to the scheme and the benefits it will bring to residents, businesses and visitors. This project has always been about increasing footfall and trade and providing new attractive places to visit, stay and shop.
"The report, due to go to cabinet on December 5 for discussion, outlines the specific amount required to deliver this ambitious scheme. The recommendation is that the additional budget is to be taken from a reserve identified for regeneration projects like this. It is always the case that decisions like this need to be discussed in an open and transparent way to provide clarity for all.”
Last updated: 12th April 2023