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£5m cash needs to be grabbed to save High Street in King's Lynn

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Support has been canvassed to gain backing for a bid to win much-needed cash to boost Lynn’s struggling High Street.

Ray Harding, chief executive of West Norfolk Council, and Darren Taylor, chairman of Lynn’s BID (Business Improvement District) have written to companies in the town centre asking them to lend their support to the application to the Future High Streets Fund (FHSF).

The £675 million FHSF has been set-up by the Government to help local town centres across the country become more vibrant and arrest decline.

It will co-fund regeneration projects that will help transform and promote economic growth in town centres and wider local areas.

Expressions of interest in the fund need to be submitted by this Friday.

An empty shop in Lynn town centre
An empty shop in Lynn town centre

The Government expects the majority of successful bids will be in the region of £5 million to £10 million for a town the size of Lynn and will need to be co-funded by public and private sector partners.

Stage two of an application would require a full project business plan.

The letter to key stakeholders said the borough is leading on this in consultation with a wide range of public and private sector local and regional partners and stakeholders.

There will be a comprehensive consultation and engagement programme under the banner of Vision King’s Lynn with local stakeholders.

Among the strategic approach being followed will be Our Town Centre Challenge, which aims to arrest ongoing declining footfall and shop closures to create a vibrant community hub by widening the centre’s appeal to residents and visitors beyond just the retail offer.

The letter said that FHSF “provides a strategic opportunity for our town centre partners and stakeholders to harness and enhance the existing heritage assets to attract more visitors and business investment; improve and enhance the cultural and arts offer to create an exciting, attractive and safe environment for residents and visitors; and through housing provision encourage more people to live and work within the town centre boundary while improving the principal gateways and access points in the town”.

Mr Taylor said: “This is early days of this application, but it is something that if we were to win funding through it could make a real difference to what we want to do in King’s Lynn.”

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