Council agrees £267,000 spending spree on market towns, but some schemes miss out

The Hawk and Owl Trust has missed out in a funding bid from North Norfolk District Council Pictures:

The Hawk and Owl Trust has missed out in a funding bid from North Norfolk District Council Pictures: Richard Saxton - Credit: Archant

Four market towns in the north of the county are in line for improvements, after taking advantage of a council's funding scheme.

However, an organisation's plan to purchase land for a new nature reserve will have to wait, after failing to dip into the same pool of money.

North Norfolk District Council's market town initiative opened a £400,000 investment pot to schemes in Fakenham, Holt, North Walsham and Stalham, which each are allocated £100,000 each.

The scheme received a variety of applications for funding across the four towns, with its cabinet agreeing on Monday which have been a success.

And while the cabinet agreed to almost £267,000 of investment through the application, a number of proposals were judged to be outside of the scope of the scheme.

Among these, were proposals from the Hawk and Owl Trust to purchase Star Meadow - a piece of land close to the Tesco in Fakenham - and convert it into a nature reserve.

The trust applied for funds to cover the costs of purchasing the site, along with any associated legal fees. However, council officers said the scheme 'did not fall within the guidelines of the fund'.

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The same can be said about a bid to improve the stage, lighting and audio equipment at Holt community centre.

Meanwhile, a bid from Holt People's Forum to pedestrianise Fish Hill was also knocked back.

The cabinet did, however, agree to fund a range of projects across the four market towns.

It was also confirmed that a second round of applications would be opened for the towns which did not secure £100,000 of investment.

The successful schemes were as follows:

Fakenham (total investment: £62,416.67) • £24,341.67 to renovate shop fronts and signage in the town centre

• £2,525 to print a heritage guide of the town

• £35,550 for town centre events

Holt (total investment: £50,724)

• £7,210 for pamphlets and notice boards for the Holt Owl Trail

• £26,000 to launch a marketing campaign

• £17,514 to improve accessibility

North Walsham (total investment: £99,575)

• £99,575 to improve St Nicholas Court, the town centre and to attract visitors to the town

Stalham (total investment: £54,154.05)

• £32,204.70 to improve the Staithe

• £22,171.25 to improve signage, power supplies and the town centre, and to provide a guide to the town centre's shops