Council urged to get business involved in Swaffham market celebrations

Business was brisk for Ward Nurseries of Ringstead (Swpa0015) ANL-140708-133723001
Business was brisk for Ward Nurseries of Ringstead (Swpa0015) ANL-140708-133723001

More needs to be done to promote the planned celebrations of 800 years of Swaffham’s market, a town publican has claimed.

Robert Bartram, who runs the Red Lion pub in the Market Place, urged the town council to get businesses involved in the events during the public forum at Wednesday’s meeting.

He said he wanted to know what was being done to mark the occasion, adding: “We don’t really know what the council has got planned.”

David Wickerson, one of the council’s representatives on the Town Team, which is co-ordinating the celebrations, said more details would be announced at a public event to be held at the Assembly Rooms on April 18 and in the town’s April newsletter.

It has already been confirmed that the main celebration weekend will be on July 18 and 19.

And Mr Wickerson later revealed that a bid for £40,000 of Heritage Lottery funding had also been lodged, on which a decision is not expected until the end of April.

He said it would be unwise to announce detailed plans before it was known what funding would be available.

Mayor Shirley Matthews also said members of the town’s business forum were involved in the planning of the celebrations.

But Mr Bartram suggested that the details of the event needed to go out to the widest possible audience.

He said: “We don’t get to hear anything if it goes in a little magazine that not everybody gets.”

Meanwhile, in his report to the meeting, Mr Wickerson said both the Nicholas Hamond Academy and the Green Britain Centre had offered the use of their car parks as shuttle points during the main celebration weekend.

The academy is also going to hold a competition to design a new coat of arms for the town, while a poster competition will be held at the infant and junior schools.

Talks are ongoing with West Norfolk Community Transport about providing a shuttle bus service.

And a fundraising bingo evening will be held at the Assembly Rooms on April 11.