There is so much happening in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk at the moment it is difficult to capture it all, writes Alistair Beales, borough council cabinet member for corporate projects and assets.
One of the most noticeable projects is the multi-million-pound, private-sector-led redevelopment scheme in the town centre, which will provide new retail units anchored by an H&M store.
We are delighted to have been able to support this project through a renegotiation of the lease, and are pleased to see that work is already well underway.
The riverfront master plan has just been published, following consultation, for the potential development of the Boal Quay and South Quay area of the King’s Lynn waterfront. This £120 million mixed-use scheme is led by the borough council.
Our next steps will be to progress a further phase of surveys and the design of infrastructure required for the site.
The key to this project will be attracting appropriate investors/developers, so we are at the very early stages of this scheme.
The Nar Ouse Business Park ‘Space to Innovate’ Enterprise Zone is a 15ha site of employment land. Utilities have already been provided to the perimeters of the site and a further £6.5 million of infrastructure works will be undertaken to enable commercial development on site from 2019.
The £5.5 million King’s Lynn Innovation Centre is already on the site, and has become home to 17 businesses since it opened last June.
The council’s 550 home major housing project with a gross development value of £75m is certainly helping to meet housing need in the area and bringing other benefits including local jobs and apprenticeships.
Homes on the Orchard Place development of Marsh Lane are selling on an early bird arrangement before they have even been released, demonstrating the local demand for housing.
At South Lynn, phase three of the Nar Valley Park development has also begun. All 550 homes should be completed over the next few years.
The council continues to invest in our heritage and investment has been strong this year. In Hunstanton the Big Lottery Funded Heritage Gardens project has seen the gardens refurbished, pathways improved for wheelchair access, new play area and butterfly shelters being refurbished and of course the installation of the Henry Le Strange statue – which received substantial funding from members of the community.
The Townscape Heritage Initiative, also a Big Lottery funded project, is starting to reap benefits with architecturally significant buildings and homes being brought back into use and businesses getting a new lease of life.
Massive investment in the town and its surrounding areas is really starting to pay off.
King’s Lynn has also received Heritage Action Zone status which could also help unlock further funding or training to develop other heritage sites which will benefit the local economy.