A heritage project which will look to drive economic growth in Lynn has been approved by West Norfolk Council.
The council has been awarded Heritage Action Zone status by Historic England, which is subject to the submission of a detailed ‘delivery plan’.
In reports to Tuesday’s council’s cabinet, it was said that the proposal met its corporate priorities of driving local economic and housing growth and celebrating local heritage and culture.
Addressing the cabinet, Ostap Paparega, West Norfolk Council’s regeneration and economic development manager, said: “This will help us achieve economic growth using our historic environment as a catalyst.
“This has national and international significance. We have had acknowledgement as a historic place that is ambitious about growth.”
Mr Paparega said there had been conversations about where the zone’s boundary should be, and whether it should be town-wide or smaller than that.
The reports show that the proposed zone contains 462 listed buildings and six scheduled ancient monuments, which “showcase the heritage of Lynn and highlight its historic local, national and international importance”.
Natalie Gates, of Historic England, said: “I always love coming back to Lynn. I should stress how significant this is because it is the very first year of Heritage Action Zones – we only announced it last year.
“It’s been a very competitive process regionally and nationally. A toal of 10 have been selected nationally, and have had to jump a number of hurdles to get there.”
She said that ideas needed to be brought forward for how to harness economic growth.
“There’s something about Lynn and the approach that really shone through the bid,” she added.
Cabinet member Kathy Mellish said: “The more stability that’s given to Lynn can only be helpful to the whole of West Norfolk.”
Nick Daubney said: “Lynn is very special, so it is important that we all work together and take on this plan.”
Lynn has been chosen alongside Coventry, Ramsgate and Hull, among six other places to become Heritage Action Zones.
Brian Long, the leader of West Norfolk Council, said: “We are up there with esteemed areas of the country.
“It will be of benefit to the wider community – we want the rest of the country to come to us.”