Meeting over North Walsham's future

Richard Batson A town facing major change and criticisms about its trading centre is asking for public views on its future.North Walsham is a major economic hub in north Norfolk, but there are growing concerns about shop closures and untidiness.

Richard Batson

A town facing major change and criticisms about its trading centre is asking for the public's views on its future.

North Walsham is an economic hub in north Norfolk but there are concerns about shop closures and untidiness. And it also faces potentially major changes in coming years, as Paston College presses ahead with plans to move from the centre to a new complex near the Victory pool.

Officials from the Griffon Area Partnership, which covers the town and surrounding parishes, is holding a public meeting on Thursday, July 10 to seek views.

Partnership development mana-ger Mike Jones said there had been a string of shop closures and there were concerns about the town becoming dominated by banks, building societies and estate agents. “Compared to other towns we don't have many niche shops. We need to give people a reason for coming here,” he said.

But smartening the appearance, by tackling things like pigeon mess and improved signs and street furniture would also help restore some civic pride.

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Appointing a town-centre manager was a key part of the action plan, said Mr Jones. It was hoped to have someone in place by this time next year, who could provide leadership, promotion and “tout for other business to come to the town”.

The Paston redevelopment offered a chance to use the historic part of the college to celebrate its role as where Lord Nelson went to school.

The meeting is at North Walsham Community Centre at 7.30pm.

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