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High streets to receive millions in funding for life after coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 08:07 19 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:23 19 September 2020

Great Yarmouth High Street Heritage Action Zone. Image: Edward James, Historic England

Great Yarmouth High Street Heritage Action Zone. Image: Edward James, Historic England

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Millions of pounds will be pumped into five of the region’s historic high streets in a bid to unlock their potential for a post-Covid world.

King's Lynn High Street Heritage Action Zone. Image: Kristina McArthur, Borough Council of King's Lynn & West NorfolkKing's Lynn High Street Heritage Action Zone. Image: Kristina McArthur, Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk

The high streets of North Walsham, Swaffham, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and King’s Lynn will all share in a £95m High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme delivered by Historic England.

The locations and the sizes of some of grants involved – including £975,000 for North Walsham and £565,000 for Lowestoft, were announced last year but the details of other grants are new.

These include £980,742 for Great Yarmouth, £800,000 for King’s Lynn and £380,000 for Swaffham.

Kelly Tolhurst, high streets minister, said: “Our high streets are the beating heart of our communities and, now more than ever, have a crucial role to play in helping our towns and cities to recover from the pandemic.

North Walsham High Street Heritage Action Zone. Looking towards the market place past the Market Cross.
Image: North Norfolk District CouncilNorth Walsham High Street Heritage Action Zone. Looking towards the market place past the Market Cross. Image: North Norfolk District Council

“This new funding will help to transform and restore historic buildings, creating new homes, shops and community spaces, and reinvigorating local high streets up and down the country.”

In North Walsham, funds will be spent on building improvement schemes, repairing and restoring the former town council building, The Cedars, improvements to the Market Place and traffic flow around the town centre.

In Great Yarmouth, money will be used to “create a repaired and enhanced built environment, sensitive and appropriate preservation of specific heritage assets on the Market Place and King Street.”

Buildings will be restored, which could be used for housing or commercial purposes.

Swaffham High Street Heritage Action Zone - The Buttercross in Swaffham
Image: Breckland District CouncilSwaffham High Street Heritage Action Zone - The Buttercross in Swaffham Image: Breckland District Council

The King’s Lynn high street zone will work in partnership with the town’s existing heritage action zone to “celebrate the town’s rich history” and improve the character of its conservation areas, creating well-designed new developments and a more competitive and appealing town centre.

In Lowestoft a high street heritage action zone will be created around London Road, encompassing the harbour, London Road South and the seafront. The new zone will complement north Lowestoft zone that has been running since 2018, and is designed to make the town a vibrant place to live, work and visit.

Swaffham’s action plan is focused around the central Market Place, which has been described as “car dominated” based on the volume of cars that come through the town and the amount of car parking available in the central area.

Lowestoft High Street.
Picture: Nick ButcherLowestoft High Street. Picture: Nick Butcher


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