At the November meeting, the Town Deal Board received its first Business Case for review. The Youth and Retraining Pledge aims to increase skills and life opportunities for young people across the area, raising aspirations and supporting inspiration.
It will see a King’s Lynn Skills Forum set up to develop and deliver a wide range of employment and skills activities for young people. These activities will be focused on helping young people engage in learning or employment and will bring together a range of provision in the town.
The project is expected to run from April 2022. The Board considered the Business Case and provided feedback before it is subsequently finalised and submitted to government.
The sub-groups also gave updates on their progress. The Skills Working Group reported that the building of the School of Nursing is on course and handover is expected in early 2022 .
The first meeting of the revised Guildhall Advisory Group took place and FEI, the consultants working on developing the Business Plan and Business Case, have carried out a number of different workstreams looking at different areas of the Guildhall.
The Town Centre Repurposing & Public Realm Working Group updated that they are preparing visuals of ideas for the public realm which will be shared with the public.
The group are also looking at incorporating art into the public realm and will be seeking consultation and input around options and opinions. Vicky Etheridge, Chair of the Town Centre Repurposing & Public Realm Working Group said: “We have a real opportunity to create attractive and engaging public realm from rail to river, with the potential to create public art. We’ll shortly be sharing some visuals with the public and we want to hear what people think.”
The Town Deal Board also received an update on the Community Renewal Fund which has seen a number of successful submissions for Norfolk. £6.3M has been awarded for Norfolk with £1.079m announced for King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.
In addition, Norfolk was successful in achieving fourth joint highest in the UK for funding from this first round. Vince Muspratt, Director of Growth and Development commented: “This allocation of funding is great news for the area and will allow for investment in projects and initiatives that are making a difference in our communities.”
The Board also received an update on plans for upcoming consultation around the Multi-User Community Hub project. In addition, the findings from the recent Young People and Pop-Ups surveys were shared.
The Young People survey saw 167 16–25-year-olds give their views, highlighting an interest in sports and leisure facilities in the town centre and a dedicated space for young people.
The survey also found that respondents would like to see more work experience opportunities, more job opportunities for graduates, and more creative arts/industry opportunities in King’s Lynn.
The Pop-Ups survey was completed by 104 businesses or potential traders and revealed an appetite for flexible pop-ups space in the town centre, with pop-ups seen as a tool for business growth. You can read the executive summaries for both young people and pop-ups surveys.