01/10/18: £50k to boost market town enhancement initiatives

A number of schemes which will enhance market towns in Breckland are to get a share of a £50,000 funding boost from the district council.

Breckland Council is funding the new initiatives as part of its ongoingMarket Towns Initiative, with funding for further projects expected to be agreed in the coming months.

The latest plans to receive financial backing from Breckland will help to deliver a programme of community activities in Thetford as well as two arts projects in the town, improvements to Swaffham Buttercross, and a town centre redevelopment study in Dereham (further project details below).

Breckland Council launched its Market Towns Initiative last year in order to fund and deliver projects that make the district's market towns and their surrounding areas a positive place to live and work and to attract visitors into the district. This includes the council funding and delivering its own initiatives as well as supporting projects being delivered by the council's partners.

The Market Towns Initiative was initially assigned almost £250,000 and has since had its funding increased by a further £250,000 to enable the programme to deliver even more projects.

Previously announced Market Towns Initiative schemes include: the council's ShopAppy project, which makes it possible for people to go online to click and collect goods from local independent shops; the roll out of 'The Glutton' modern street-cleaning machine; and in-town signage improvements.

Cllr Paul Claussen, Breckland's Executive Member for Place, commented: "We are investing significant funding into our communities through our Market Towns Initiative and rolling out projects which enhance our towns. Our drive is to make them more attractive for our residents and visitors and ensure the district's vitality and prosperity.

"We have already made a start on a number of our own projects under the Market Towns Initiative and I'm delighted that we are also now able to support a number of local partners who are on-board and share our vision for a brighter Breckland."

Latest projects to be assigned funding:

  • Up to £25k for a new year-long programme of On The Green events at Thetford Riverside leisure complex, following the success of the inaugural programme which is still underway. Next year's activities will continue to provide entertainment for residents, attract visitors to the site and bring communities together. The current programme of activities has included music events, a harvest day, visits from unicorns, and even a pop-up beach appear in the middle of the town.
  • Thetford Town Council has been awarded around £4.5k to support the delivery of two arts projects. The first will see boarded windows at the back of the Guildhall painted with historical characters who point visitors towards the nearby Dad's Army Museum. A separate art project will see a new Dad's Army mural painted on a wall at the back of the Carnegie Rooms, linking the market place with the Carnegie building and signposting people to the museum and riverside areas.
  • Swaffham Town Council has been allocated £20k towards a project that will refurbish the town's Buttercross and see new electrical sockets and discreet lighting installed, the relocation of an electrical cabinet, and relaying cobbles to make the area flatter and more usable in the future.
  • Dereham Town Council will receive up to £1,700 to support a study to be carried out on opportunities to redesign the town's market place and town centre, which may include opportunities to enhance the market and associated events and giving consideration to how buses and cars access the town centre.

Local organisations with proposals to enhance their town or surrounding area are invited to discuss these with the council's Market Towns Initiative lead officer by emailing john.mullen@breckland.gov.uk.

Further Information on Market Towns Initiative can be viewed on our pageOne District Five Towns

Last updated: 13/11/2018 12:15:00