Plans to develop Norwich’s derelict deal site get £3.5m funding boost pledge from New Anglia
PUBLISHED: 19:17 04 July 2012 | UPDATED: 13:50 05 July 2012
Moves to regenerate the largest area of derelict land in Norwich have been boosted after backers were pledged £3.5m to help get the scheme off the ground.
The New Anglia local enterprise partnership has agreed to release the cash from its growing places fund to support plans to bring forward the development on the May Gurney and Deal Ground sites in Trowse.
Plans have already been submitted to Norwich City Council for the proposed £100m development which would see 670 new homes, a new local centre, restaurant dining quarter, pub and commercial space as well as create new habitats for wildlife.
But the New Anglia cash would help kickstart the project by funding the construction of a spine road from the Street in Trowse to a bridge springing point on the south bank of the River Wensum. A bridge crossing the River Yare is also included as well as paths and cycle ways to complete a Riverside Walk.
New Anglia made the offer ‘in principle’ once planning permission has been agreed and more detailed proposal is produced.
Chris Leeming, director of Norwich-based planning consultants, Lanpro Services, which has been involved in drawing up the proposals said: “We are very pleased to have progressed through the Growing Places Fund bidding process in order to gain support from the New Anglia LEP Board for the funding to unlock development of the largest remaining brown-field site in Norwich.
“The “offer in principle” still has some finer details to be worked out, but to secure an offer for the funds to unlock growth and jobs is a major step forward. We now welcome the successful determination of the current planning application lodged with Norwich City Council to allow us to start work on regenerating this area of the City.2
Meanwhile New Anglia has also agreed a £2.3m loan in principle to North Norfolk District Council and Hopkins Homes to help redevelop a former canning factory in North Walsham.
A joint application from North Norfolk District Council and Hopkins Homes’ for the pump-priming loan had been successful and the full amount would be lent – once a set of conditions, including finalising repayment agreements and securing planning consent for the site which has been derelict for a decade since the former Norwich Road canning factory closed, had been met.
A £2.5m bid for an NWES enterprise and innovation centre at King’s Lynn’s Nora site has been deferred after the New Anglia board asked for more clarification about the plan, but could still go ahead as part of the current funding round if approved.
However, a £1.75m bid to help Hethel-based firm Tml Precision Engineering fund a new training and innovation centre and create more than 100 jobs, has not been taken forward at this stage though New Anglia said it would work with bidders which did meet the stringent criteria to strengthen their project proposals should further government funding become available.
New Anglia is also keeping back £2.2m to support a revised rural growth network fund after its separate bid for cash was turned down by the government.
Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Presentations on the proposals were made to the board and we were impressed with the quality of what we saw.
“The projects we approved on the basis that they most clearly matched our key priorities around job creation, speed of delivery, value for money and prospect of repayment.”