Lottery grant secures Saturday Market Place transformation projects

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Vibrancy will be returning to one of Lynn’s most historic quarters thanks to nearly £5 million cash boost for the area.

West Norfolk Council has won almost £3 million of Heritage Lottery Funding to transform Saturday Market Place and some of its surrounding streets.

Long awaited plans to restore Lynn Town Hall along with giving Saturday Market Place a make-over and improving some of the buildings in the St Margaret’s Conservation area, which includes St James’ Street, will finally go ahead.

Council leader Nick Daubney said in press conference on Tuesday: “This is an absolutely fantastic opportunity and a fantastic challenge, I could not be more pleased as this is my favourite part of Lynn.

“The plan is to bring it to life, to bring vibrancy and to bring business back to the area and regenerate things and bring many buildings back into use.”

Work is due to start on August 18 in remodelling Saturday Market Place, which will include the one-way system and widening the pavements along with 28 parking spaces and street lighting and furniture.

Part of the car park will also have to be levelled and the council is braced for finding archeology.

Work on the £2.9 million plans to remodel the town hall complex, which includes the Grade I listed Guild Hall, is scheduled to start next year.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has given £1,850,600 to the scheme with £800,000 coming from the borough council.

The scheme aims to increase public access to the town hall and its collections.

The hall will open seven-days-a-week with the aim of encouraging other heritage attractions to also open at weekends.

A key aspect of the scheme is to develop the Stories of Lynn exhibition. An interactive multi-media exhibition about the town’s history.

The vaulted structure of the undercroft of the 15th century Trinity Guild Hall will be revealed. It will create an exhibition space to showcase treasures such as the King John Cup.

A new extension adding a lift and stairs will be added to the Old Gaol House.

A full-time archivist will be employed to increase access to the archives.

Norfolk Records Office will providing staffing and digitized images from key documents. An educational programme is also planned.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has given £1,000,000 to improve the St Margaret’s Conservation area, which covers Tower Street and St James’ Street, while the borough council has also awarded £1.5 million for this.

Under this scheme, property owners and leaseholders will be able to apply for grants to carry out restorations or repairs. Contributions will be required by property owners, who will have to repay some of the grant if they sell the property.

The council has 23 priority projects and will be meeting with owners in September to launch the scheme.

Philip Venning, committee member for the Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “I am delighted to see these two projects get funding.

“They will provide much needed investment to the town centre. Lynn has some wonderful heritage which the HLF has previously supported.”