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£1m earmarked to boost North Walsham's historic town centre

PUBLISHED: 13:52 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:52 16 September 2019

Aerial shot of North Walsham. Picture: Mike Page

Aerial shot of North Walsham. Picture: Mike Page

Copcyright www.mike-page.co.uk

Nearly a million pounds will be spent improving North Walsham's historic town centre.

North Walsham has won funding from Historic England. Picture: MARK BULLIMORENorth Walsham has won funding from Historic England. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Four Norfolk towns have won a share of £95m of Government funding to breathe new life into the country's high streets.

The East of England was awarded £7m and the money will see disused historical buildings revamped into shops, houses and community centres.

North Walsham's bid of £950,000 through North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has been agreed in principle and a team is working on a plan of what improvements are needed, and which buildings should be restored.

Town businessman Rob Scammell said: "I'm delighted and proud to have been a part of the working group that won this bid.

Virginia Gay. Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE CANDIDATEVirginia Gay. Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE CANDIDATE

"The criteria on how the money can be spent is quite specific. It has to be heritage-based, to include town centre improvements and heritage buildings.

"We're thinking of making improvements to entrances in and out of town, such as pavements and street furniture.

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"North Walsham has more buildings in the conservation area than anywhere else in north Norfolk.

"We could make improvements to shopfronts that were changed in the '70s and '80s, but don't fit the period of the buildings.

"This is a match-funded project so we are looking at a total investment of nearly £2m. We need to find partners. The next step is to work up a plan of what we want to do, by the end of January."

Former town mayor Barry Hester said: "The buildings that we put on the bid that could be restored included Waterloo Stores, the Kings Arms hotel and Barclays Bank."

Virginia Gay, NNDC's portfolio holder for wellbeing and culture, said: "It's incredibly good news. We are all completely delighted.

"As well as the physical improvements that the High Streets Heritage Action Zone will bring, our project will help reinforce the pride the town's active community has in its cultural heritage."

The news was announced by culture secretary Nicky Morgan, who said: "This £95m will help breathe new life into high streets all over England."

The other towns to benefit are King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Swaffham.

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