Date published: 21st September 2022

The new-look regenerated Church Approach/Shambles Slope, complete with the re-positioned Lepus ‘Go-Go’ hare, new trees, plants and it is now sporting some lovely new benches, both freestanding and wall mounted. This alongside new handrails – due to arrive shortly – is the final piece in the Church Approach jigsaw.

The Church Approach improvement work, delivered as part of the North Walsham High Street Heritage Action Zone, has also prompted local businesses to apply for additional funding to carry out remedial works to the wall adjoining the slope. Conversations with a number of property owners whose back walls face the newly designed space have been ongoing.

We are delighted to report that all these parties have come together and agreed that remedial works to that wall can happen. New render and the new paint will be applied to the large wall backing onto the space, as well as bricking up some old windows, which are no longer used, and fixing downpipes and guttering.

Cllr Richard Kershaw, portfolio holder for Sustainable Growth, said:

“This is what regeneration is all about! You improve one area, and that, in turn prompts people to think about adjoining areas and how to improve them. I am delighted to see this additional work going on as it is a testament to the pride that these business owners have in their town centre.”

Malcolm Abbs Limited, the contractor carrying out these works commented:

"We are delighted to be working on this wall and assisting in part to improve the area, which is phase 1 of the town centre regeneration work. We are confident that the re-rendered, re-painted wall will really be the finishing touch to this space. Supplies and costs have been rising and despite some initial delays, we are pleased to be on site now and hope to be finished in a few weeks.”

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

“It’s great to see the public realm works leading to more improvements in North Walsham. This is exactly what High Street Heritage Action Zones aim to do – to bring people together, be a catalyst for positive change and to improve the local area for people who live, work in and visit the town.

"I’m really looking forward to seeing people enjoying this new public area and spending time experiencing the history and heritage around them.”

Due to the fact that this work is being completed by a different contractor, and in order to keep all workers safe, the remedial works needed to happen after the main works had finished and not during.

Phase 2, the marketplace work, the next part of the town centre regeneration, started last week. It is great news that the plans are well underway. These include widened footpaths, better crossings, bigger and more loading bays as well as new seating and planting where residents, visitors and tourists can stop and relax.

Last updated: 12th April 2023