A public realm action plan is being drawn together to prioritise and co-ordinate projects to make our west Norfolk towns feel safe and to encourage people back into the towns to shop or enjoy what each town has to offer.
The action plan will draw together ideas submitted through workshops, consultations and other feedback, as well as drawing together key funding streams so that works can be prioritised.
Funding streams include Town Deal accelerated Funding (£153K remaining balance after School of Nursing has been funded), Reopening High Streets Safely Fund (£134k), Norfolk Tourism Support Package (£361k).
The latter funds can be used for borough-wide improvements, while the Town Deal accelerated funding is specifically for King’s Lynn town centre.
Some of the measures that could be put in place include:
- Outdoor seating areas to support takeaway food offer from hospitality businesses
- Street furniture renewal
- Enhanced bins to reduce risk of coronavirus transmission through litter
- Opportunities to include enhanced cycle facilities/hubs as part of the emerging Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan
- ‘Pop up’ stalls for improved market and small/startup businesses
- Potential extension of pedestrianised areas.
- Opportunities for public art and green spaces
In King’s Lynn, the Public Realm Action Plan will focus specifically on the following areas:
- Tuesday Market Place
- Saturday Market Place
- High Street & Norfolk Street
- Baker Lane
- Baxters Plain and Tower Street
The funding streams above all need to be spent by 31st March 2021. The public realm action plan will identify and prioritise other potential schemes so that the council is in a good position to take advantage of any other funding streams that might come along.
Cllr Graham Middleton, Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Cabinet Member for Business Development, said: “Covid-19 has had a devastating impact across the country, and with new guidance, the pressure on local high streets is not going to ease.
It is important that we use this funding to help our town centre businesses attract customers and demonstrate that the shopping or dining environment is a safe and attractive as it can be.
“People will be looking for a more experiential visit to town as their habits move to online shopping. We want to explore what we can do to improve people’s visit experience, whether that be through safety measures, public art or improved street furniture.
We have worked with businesses through consultations and workshops to draw up some ideas and will pull this into an action plan which prioritises those ideas.”
The action plan will be drawn up with relevant stakeholders over the next few weeks.