Makeover hopes for Cromer’s West Prom

Cromer's West Prom is on the list for a possible �300,000 makeover with ideas including new and improved toilet blocks, a caf�, refurbished Art Deco chalets and extra retail units to rent.

North Norfolk District Council is hoping to lavish attention on the prom which missed out on Cromer's 2001-2006 regeneration project when �2m-�3m was spent on improving an area extending from the pier westwards to the bottom of the Melbourne Slope, and eastwards to the Rocket House.

The West Prom scheme, which the council would like to complete by 2014, could see new or improved toilet blocks at the bottom of the Melbourne Slope and on the West Prom, plus improvements to the Pier toilets. It could also involve an architectural design competition and beach huts for people with mobility problems.

The council would like to start this year by setting up a steering group of local people and business representatives to contribute ideas and manage the scheme, with works beginning in 2012.

But Peter Moore, the council's cabinet member for resources, cautioned that the scheme's progress was dependent on when the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced its decision on funding the strengthening of Cromer's sea defences. He hoped an announcement would be made 'as soon as possible' because that work would affect the prom, and improvements would have to be timed around it. They would also need to complement ongoing work to Cromer Pier.


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'We want to make the West Prom a better place for tourists and for those who live in Cromer,' said Mr Moore. 'We've got some ideas, but nothing definite. By setting up a steering group we're saying 'tell us what you want.''

Cromer Chamber of Trade President Peter Stibbons welcomed the project: 'The West Prom has suffered over the years from 'bitty' development,' he said. 'It's a bit of a jumble down there. The only significant investment over the past 25 years has been the reinstatement of the white steps by Anglian Water. I would like to see that whatever happens matches up with the earlier regeneration work.'

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The project is one of seven longer-burning schemes the council would like to carry out.

Others include �85,000 for new public toilets on Sheringham's East Prom, due to be finished at the end of this year, and �103,000 to replace car park ticket machines in 22 sites throughout the district. The seven are subject to approval by the full council when it meets on February 23.

They are among a longer list of current and planned investments in some of the council's �41m worth of property which were discussed by its cabinet on Monday, when members approved the council's Asset Management Plan.

The council hopes to start work this spring converting Cromer's Red Lion toilets to a surf school and life-saving club, and carry out reinforcement work on the floor on the Sackhouse in Wells, as part of the Maltings community and tourism project.

Other projects planned for the coming financial year, representing �948,000 worth of investment, include continuing work on:

* a �130,000 multi-use games area at Stalham High School which is due to open in June

* a �425,000 factory extension at JW Automarine on Enterprise Way, Fakenham

* improvements to public toilets. Since 2006 the council has spent �563,000 upgrading 28 of its 41 blocks and the coming year should see a further �90,000-plus spent replacing toilets in North Walsham Market Place and Potter Heigham, both of which involve private developers.

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