Date published: 10th November 2022

The Building Improvement Grant (BIG) is one of the elements of the North Walsham High Street Heritage Action Zone project funded by the North Norfolk District Council, New Anglia LEP and Historic England. This grant is designed to support the repair and restoration of heritage buildings and help bring unused floor space back into use.

This particular project, one of the first to be completed, is the restoration of a former storeroom above one of our marketplace shops. It has been carefully and sympathetically renovated to create a small but perfectly formed split-level studio flat and has since been let to a local resident.

Jayne Morton is the new tenant and comments, “It’s absolutely delightful and more than suits my needs. Everything is so easily accessible and for someone who has lived in North Walsham for a lot of years, I have used the town centre more in the last week (since she moved in) than I have done for many months.”

The BIG grant is in the process of reviewing many applications. These vary from renovations, to reinstatements of shop fronts and signs to repairing historic features on some of the oldest buildings in the town centre. The grant has been inundated with many expressions of interest, and applicants will need permissions in place in order to proceed. This fund runs until the spring of 2024 and it is hoped that many of our high-street shops and businesses can benefit.

Cllr Richard Kershaw, North Norfolk District Councillor, commented:

“This is fabulous news for the town and is a demonstration of what this project is all about. By bringing unused spaces back into use, it encourages people to be able to live in our high streets and in turn, they shop here, use local cafes and takeaways. Making it more pedestrian-friendly will only increase its appeal.”

Tony Calladine, East of England Regional Director, Historic England, said:

“This is a fantastic example of reusing vacant space for much-needed accommodation in the heart of town. It’s wonderful to see how increasing residential opportunities can enliven the high street and encourage people to look locally for shopping, eating and leisure.”

Last updated: 12th April 2023