£100k Lottery bid for King’s Lynn South Gate outlined

The South Gate entry to King's Lynn on London Road. ENGANL00120130204143421
The South Gate entry to King's Lynn on London Road. ENGANL00120130204143421
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Thousands of drivers pass through it every day and a new lottery bid could bring even more people to one of Lynn’s best known landmarks.

Heritage officials have outlined their plans for a project, expected to cost around £100,000, to improve facilities for visitors to the South Gate.

And the plans were welcomed by councillors during a committee meeting this week, though concerns were raised about visitor access.

A bid for Heritage Lottery funding, which is expected to include a historical and archaeological survey, an events programme and efforts to recruit more volunteers, is currently being developed.

Presenting the plans to Tuesday’s meeting of the Lynn area consultative committee, Lynn Museum curator Oliver Bone said he believed the plan would give the site “fresh impetus” if it is successful.

He said: “It’s been perhaps too long in the offing but now the moment is right for the submission of the proposals to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).”

Mr Bone said he hoped the programme, which would include the replacement of graphic panels dating back to the 1980s, would encourage more school visits.

He also highlighted some of the many schemes that have benefited from millions of pounds of HLF funding in Lynn in recent years, including the renovation of St Nicholas Chapel, the recently opened Stories of Lynn project at the town hall and

And Gaywood Chase representative John Collop suggested a successful bid could only boost the wider town.

He said: “This is another example where we’re taking the initiative to enhance what we offer. I hope you get the money and we can enhance the town.”

But Gaywood North Bank’s Thomas Smith asked whether the approaches and accesses to the building were being looked at as part of the bid.

He said: “If you’re in a car its very impressive. If you’re coming on foot, it’s not the greatest approach in the world.

“It’s not a cheerful environment. It doesn’t scream happy holidaymakers.”

Mr Bone said the bid was primarily intended to improve the offer for people coming into the building, pointing out there were a number of “constraints” on what could be done around the site.

He said: “The main display space is upstairs but I still think there is a lot that could be done to enhance the experience.”

A decision on the final bid is expected within around three months of its submission. Mr Bone said work could begin fairly quickly after the announcement of any grant.