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Downham Market described as 'friendly' but also 'boring and dated' according to survey




The friendliness and warm welcome is what makes Downham Market special, according to the findings of a recent survey.

The Opportunities Downham consultation, which saw 401 people give their views, also discovered that the town’s status as a market town is considered important.

The survey took place earlier this summer and invited views from the public on Downham to help to shape future plans for the town.

Official opening of the Norfolk Cheese Company at Downham Market..left to right Vicky Dunthorne, Mayor of Downham Jenny Groom and Nina Narramore. (47853737)
Official opening of the Norfolk Cheese Company at Downham Market..left to right Vicky Dunthorne, Mayor of Downham Jenny Groom and Nina Narramore. (47853737)

People used a range of words to describe the town such as "warm and friendly" but also negative words such as "dated and boring" which suggest a scope for improvement.

Councillor Jenny Groom, Mayor of Downham said: “Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to share their views in this survey.

"We had a great response and the feedback is both interesting and insightful.

“It’s really fantastic to learn people think that Downham Market is a friendly, welcoming town – and that is something that I certainly recognise."

“But, we know too that there are things could be made better, and there were some brilliant ideas and suggestions offered to do just that.”

In addition, the study found:Food shopping, hospitality, and personal care – such as visits to the hairdresser - are the top reasons why people are coming into the town.

The main places people are visiting are the market (20 per cent), supermarkets, and restaurants and cafés.

Respondents to the survey said that they would like to see a greater vibrancy and variety in the town, including a better choice of retail outlets, an expanded, improved market, and more of a café culture.

The survey also asked for views on use of the town hall: Improving career and business prospects were key themes for potential use of the town hall,with 52 per cent stating they would like to see business start-up training offered.

There was also a keen interest in wellbeing workshops (51 per cent) and life skills training (43 per cent).

Ideas for complementary services for the town hall focused on food and drink with a range of suggestions such as an internet café, bistro, or specialist café.

The Mayor said:“This survey is just the start of the conversation with local people. We want to continue hearing what matters to Downham residents so that any improvements can reflect local needs and wants.

“This is a really exciting time for Downham Market and we look forward to shaping a bright future for the town, not least as we emerge from Covid-19.”



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