Bure Valley Walk set for £850,000 revamp to 'entice more visitors'
- Credit: Bure Valley Railway
A major Norfolk walking and cycling route is to be transformed following £850,000 worth of improvements.
The nine-mile Bure Valley Walk - which follows the route of the Bure Valley Railway from Aylsham to Hoveton - will be made better through resurfacing and other changes.
Almost £600,000 of cash from European Union funding is to be used, along with £250,000 generated through a levy on housebuilding and other developments.
The bulk of the money comes from the EU-funded EXPERIENCE project, led by Norfolk County Council. That was money awarded before Brexit to promote off-season tourism in the county.
Initial work will be carried out at six points at Aylsham station, Burgh Road crossing, Buxton station, Coltishall station, Belaugh Road crossing and Wroxham station.
That will see the route, which can be used by pedestrians and cyclists and runs by the side of the Bure Valley Railway, resurfaced. Work, which has begun, will continue through to the end of March.
Paths will be widened, new habitats created and information about the area's railway heritage provided.
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Lana Hempsall, Norfolk County Council member champion for sustainable transport, said: “These improvements will entice more visitors to The Broads and showcase the railway heritage of the Bure Valley Railway.
"Developing new experiences draws in visitors all year round and extending choices for attractive nature walks or cycling can help avoid the overcrowding at some of the more popular tourism spots at busy times of the year.
"This type of sustainable tourist offer, for both local people and visitors to our lovely county, will help to support Norfolk businesses and contribute to our ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral as an authority by 2030.”
A further sum of just under £260,000, from the Greater Norwich Growth Board Infrastructure Investment Fund, will go towards further improvements including waymarking of new circular walks.
Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council and chairman of the growth board, said: "This is another fantastic project the board is helping to fund, which will benefit residents, businesses and visitors to the area.
"These improvements will create an attractive offer to cyclists, both in Greater Norwich and those visiting from further afield.”
Broadland District Council will work on the green infrastructure improvements.