More than 750 declare a Vision for the future of King's Lynn town centre
People want retail quality and choice, better access, and a thriving, inspiring safe Lynn town centre which makes the most of its attributes.
These are the findings of the Vision King’s Lynn consultation which took place throughout February to understand how people feel about the town centre.
More than 750 people took part in the consultation which was organised by the West Norfolk Council and Discover King’s Lynn, the town centre BID.
Chris Bamfield, the BID’S executive director, said: “This consultation has given us an insight into people’s perceptions of the town centre.
“It is clear that the town as a whole has many good features, but there is a clear desire to make improvements to the High Street and to tackle the negative perceptions that exist.
“We have listened to what people have said and these views have informed our application to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.”
The Future High Streets Fund has been set up to help local areas to respond to and adapt to changes.
“It supports local areas to prepare long-term strategies for their high streets and town centres.
Vicky Etheridge, BID manager with Discover King’s Lynn said: “We want to create a thriving town centre of which we can all be proud which is why we have made an application to this fund.
“Should we be successful, we will work with the local community to make our town centre a place we all want to be.”
As a result of the feedback, the partners in Vision King’s Lynn are developing an overall strategic vision for the town centre.
Mr Bamfield added: “We have already delivered a number of successful regeneration projects in the town.
“But to really make a difference we need a cash injection to create a step-change that will transform our town centre.
“We want it to be a place that people want to come into, to use, to experience, built upon its strengths.
“It is a significant challenge and it is vital that we secure funding to do this. The competition for this funding is going to be tough.”
An expression of interest has been submitted to the Future High Streets Fund and a decision will be made in spring 2019 if Lynn town centre will go through for consideration.
The consultation included an online survey as well as two drop-in sessions.
Key findings of the consultation were:
- Shopping (47.3 per cent) is the main purpose for visiting the town centre which is mainly driven by necessity
- 24.5 per cent of respondents use the town centre for work
The things people would like to see more of in the town centre were:
- Better quality and choice of open shops/fewer empty shops
- Independent shops and a town centre which makes it easy for small retailers to trade
- Better access to the town centre and parking
- Feeling safe
- An inclusive town centre with something for everyone
The top ten most frequently quoted words for the perception of the town centre were:
The things that make the town centre special according to the consultation
- The heritage is clearly the most significant aspect of Lynn that people perceive as being what makes the town centre special
- The friendly people and sense of community were highlighted as positives
- For many, there is nothing which they find special