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£600k plan to boost West Norfolk town centres revealed

More than £600,000 is to be spent on an action plan intended to help encourage back into West Norfolk’s town centres.

Projects including the potential extension of pedestrian areas, plus additional bins and street furniture, are now set to be pursued over the next few months.

Just over £150,000 will be spent in Lynn, as part of a £750,000 Towns Fund allocation announced by the Government on Friday.

Tuesday Market Place first weekend after the partial lifting of lockdown. (34776167)
Tuesday Market Place first weekend after the partial lifting of lockdown. (34776167)

Around £360,000 will be drawn from a Norfolk Tourism Support Package and can be spent across Lynn, Downham and Hunstanton, plus £134,000 from the Reopening High Streets Safety Fund.

All of the funding needs to be spent by the end of March, 2021.

Graham Middleton, West Norfolk Council cabinet member for business development, said: “Covid-19 has had a devastating impact across the country, and with new guidance, the pressure on local high streets is not going to ease.

“It is important that we use this funding to help our town centre businesses attract customers and demonstrate that the shopping or dining environment is a safe and attractive as it can be.”

Officials say work in Lynn will focus on areas including Tuesday Market Place, Saturday Market Place, High Street and Norfolk Street, Baker Lane, Baxters Plain and Tower Street.

Potential schemes on which the funding could be used include outdoor seating areas to support takeaway food offer from hospitality businesses, street furniture renewal and improved bins to reduce risk of coronavirus transmission through litter.

The scheme will also look at ways of improving cycling facilities, pop-up stalls for startup businesses and market traders, the possible extension of pedestrian areas and opportunities for public art and green spaces

Mr Middleton added: “People will be looking for a more experiential visit to town as their habits move to online shopping.

“We have worked with businesses through consultations and workshops to draw up some ideas and will pull this into a plan which prioritises those ideas.”

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