Funding package to enhance Swaffham high street and Market Place
Plans are in place to make Swaffham town centre look more attractive thanks to a package of funding as authorities continue to strive to reduce the strain of the coronavirus pandemic on local businesses.
Breckland Council members have voted to accept £380,000 in national funding to support the protection and enhancement of Swaffham's high street and Market Place.
Councillors approved the acceptance of match-funding from Historic England yesterday (September 24) and gave the green light to the programme which will see Swaffham High Street become one of the country's new High Streets Heritage Action Zones (HSHAZ).
The money will go towards a £697,900 package of measures to assist the economic recovery of the retail and service sector in the town over the next four years and will be delivered by Breckland Council alongside its partners, including Swaffham Town Council.
Plans include improvements to historic shop fronts and other commercial premises and a feasibility study into making the shared environment between pedestrians and motorists more sustainable.
In turn, it is hoped this will make Swaffham increasingly attractive as a place to live and work and encourage more visitors and inward investment.
A Breckland Council spokesman said: "Community involvement is at the heart of this scheme and an ambitious programme of cultural events and activities will also be developed, focused on celebrating the heritage and character of the town and its people."
Mark Robinson, Breckland Council's executive member for community, leisure and culture, said that the decision was in line with the council's commitment to supporting local towns to thrive.
He said: "This programme will help protect Swaffham's historic town centre while making the most of its rich heritage for modern residents and visitors.
"We'll now look to deliver a series of heritage improvements around the market place that will significantly improve the environment and make it attractive to shoppers and visitors alike."
Swaffham's mayor Jill Skinner said: "The town council are delighted that Swaffham town centre will receive this cash injection, as it provides a welcome boost during these difficult times.
"The HSHAZ project offers the town a real opportunity to build a better future and local people can play an important part in helping to deliver some of the aspirations and policies outlined in our Neighbourhood Plan."
Tony Calladine, regional director for Historic England in the East of England, said; "This is fantastic news for Swaffham. We look forward to working with Swaffham Town Council, Breckland Council and partners to breathe new life into the historic heart of Swaffham's High Street and Market Place."
Swaffham was allocated £380,000 as part of the £95 million government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme .