Fakenham boosted by £60k Market Towns grant awards
Council chiefs have approved grants worth nearly £60,000 for projects which aim to attract more visitors into Fakenham.
Shop front revamps, a heritage guide and a range of community events are among the initiatives which will benefit from Market Towns Initiative cash allocated at a North Norfolk District Council cabinet meeting on Monday.
The largest contribution, just over £33,000, has been given to Active Fakenham for them to organise and promote a "large number" of events in the town centre.
The group already stages a number of events in the town throughout the year, including a week-long programme of sport and community activities in August.
Richard Crook, from the organisation, said the funding allocation was welcome, though he was disappointed that projects to develop a town guide for 2019 and a new visitors' map were not given funding. Work is continuing to fund the guide scheme.
But he added: "Overall it's good news. We're excited about an ambitious programme for next year."
Two other schemes will see another £27,000 given to the town council.
More than £24,000 is to be spent on renovating four town centre shops, Benbows, Tudor Café, The Larder and Martha and Me, as well as helping them to trade online.
The council says it has already held talks with companies about the work and hopes to begin work next spring.
Town mayor George Acheson said: “The Town Council has a permanent commitment to Fakenham’s smaller retail businesses.
"This grant will enable good small shops to bring more character, colour and benefit to our town – helping them to thrive when so many in similar towns are dying.”
The council will also receive a further £2,535 towards the development of a heritage trail brochure which it believes will not only promote the town's historic sites but make its businesses more visible to potential customers, whether they are residents or visitors.
The funding for the successful projects is being drawn from a £400,000 pot designed to support the four inland market towns in North Norfolk. A maximum of £100,000 is available to each town.
Applications for the remaining funding are currently being sought. The deadline for submissions is February 12.