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New milestone in scheme protecting Swaffham’s heritage

A scheme which will protect Swaffham’s rich heritage while planning for the town’s future has reached an exciting new milestone.

Breckland Council is working in partnership with Historic England to deliver the Swaffham High Street Heritage Action Zone, which will see a range of projects rolled out to protect the historic high street and look at how it could be further enhanced for residents and visitors in the future.

The programme was originally announced in 2019 after Historic England agreed to invest £380k in the town, with a further £200k ring-fenced by Breckland Council.

The Buttercross in Swaffham.. (52752581)
The Buttercross in Swaffham.. (52752581)

The coronavirus pandemic unfortunately slowed the scheme, but now it is moving forward apace as a number of expert teams have been signed up to take forward the individual projects.

The projects will include working with the owners of some of the town’s most historic buildings to help fund the repair of the shop fronts and traditional features, and inviting local people to share their thoughts on what modern amenities might best complement the traditional market town.

The work will be delivered by Kings & Dunne Architects, Urban Symbiotics and Purcell Architecture Limited and each focuses on a different element of the programme. Kings & Dunne Architects will be working with building owners in town on building improvements.

Urban Symbiotics are producing a document that will be co-designed with residents that will improve the town centre and provide a long term plan for Swaffham’s historic centre.

And Purcell Architecture Limited are reappraising Swaffham’s town centre conservation area as well as producing a management plan.

Paul Claussen, Breckland Council’s executive member for economic development and growth said: "Swaffham is a town with a rich history and I’m delighted that we’re now able to make real progress in protecting that heritage while looking ahead to the future."

Tony Calladine, regional director for Historic England in the East of England, said: “It’s fantastic to see the launch of the Swaffham High Street Heritage Action Zone today.

"I’m looking forward to seeing how local and business communities come together to work on these projects to reinvigorate the historic town centre, and how the restoration of characterful properties and improved pedestrian access will reconnect people with the historic marketplace."

Over the coming weeks, residents will be invited to get involved in the project by sharing their views on the town, while building owners will have an opportunity to work with the project team to look at ways their historic buildings can be protected.

More information about the programme visit here

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