Twenty-six ways to spend £100,000 in Norfolk town

North Norfolk District Councillor for Glaven Valley Karen Ward. Picture: NNDC

North Norfolk District Councillor for Glaven Valley Karen Ward. Picture: NNDC - Credit: Archant

Nearly 60 people attended the inaugural meeting of the Holt People's Forum to discuss how the north Norfolk town could spend £100,000.

The Market Town Initiative (MTI) was launched by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) in July with a funding budget of £400,000.

It aims to help four inland market towns, North Walsham, Stalham, Fakenham and Holt, bring about improvements that will help raise their profile as better places to work, live and visit. NNDC councillor Karen Ward told the meeting that each town could be allocated a budget of up to £100,000 for the next financial year.

It is hoped that local groups, voluntary organisations, social and community enterprises, as well as town councils will bid for funding for specific projects to deliver improvements.

Keith Gosden, forum chairman, said: 'The main aim of the meeting was to help support and encourage engagement in applications for the MTI, be they from this forum, or other organisations or bodies within Holt.

'It matters not where the applications come from, so long as Holt makes full use of the generous £100,000 funding, and that the residents have full knowledge of the initiatives and the ongoing opportunity to contribute to their success.'

The meeting at Holt community centre was attended by a wide spectrum of residents, including many of the town's councillors, business owners and members of the Holt Festival, The Holt Fringe, The Holt Society, The Chamber of Trade & Commerce and The Community Centre Committee.

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More than 26 ideas were submitted at the meeting including the pedestrianisation of parts of the Market Place, the creation of new footpaths, additional provision for cyclists, and additional play/exercise equipment for older children and adults. Ideas also included more updated signage and one-off musical events in the town.

Mr Gosden said feedback was overwhelmingly positive. He added that one person said that it was good to see many Holt residents coming together for the good of the town. Each idea will be followed up with a view to making a formal application and a follow-up meeting is planned for later in the year.