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£100k funding for Fakenham regeneration

Four market towns in North Norfolk, including Fakenham, are set to benefit from up to £400,000 of funding to improve their communities.

Each town will be able to bid for £100,000 to spend on projects enabling them to take part in the development of their economic future.

North Norfolk District Council has allocated £400,000 to the Market Towns Initiative, where each of the four market towns, which also includes Holt, North Walsham and Stalham, will have a budget of £100,000 available to spend during the financial year 2018/19.

Fakenham - the town sign.. (2796741)
Fakenham - the town sign.. (2796741)

Council leader John Lee said: “These are difficult times for town centres, this initiative is designed to help support our market towns, to make them more attractive to locals and visitors alike and to support independent businesses.

“If our market towns thrive it gives a lift to the surrounding villages also.

“I sincerely hope that all relevant groups in the towns like the town councils and chambers of trade buy into this and make it a success.”

The project aims to allow community groups to work with the district council to help shape their future through locally managed projects.

A launch event took place at the council’s offices yesterday, when local community groups from each of the four market towns were invited to find out more about the initiative.

This included what the bidding process for the funding is like, how to make an application and what the criteria will be for an application.

It also gave the groups the opportunity to discuss any project ideas they might have with others in an informal setting.

The council’s Liberal Democrat group leader, Sarah Butikofer said: “This is an exciting new project that we were delighted to propose additional funding for during the recent budget negotiations.

“Market towns are the central hubs for our communities away from the coast, providing important services not only to the towns themselves, but also the villages around them.

“It is essential they remain vibrant thriving focal points, and we hope the boost we have given this project will enable local communities to implement new ideas for regeneration initiatives and environmental improvements.”

Community-led projects will be supported by the authority with the intention of revitalising and enhancing the towns, making them a better place to live, work and visit.

Through funding, advice and support, the district council will enable local community groups to consider opportunities and submit proposals that will build on the character of each of the towns.

Independent group leader John Rest said: “Working together with local people to improve the vibrancy of our four market towns with this significant financial investment is a hugely exciting project to be a part of.

“I am looking forward to the launch event and learning more about what ideas community groups have for their respective town and how together, we can make improvements that everyone can be proud of.”

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