Fakenham is promised a new building to be proud of as town continues it’s fightback from the fire
© Archant Norfolk 2014
“Let’s build something the town can be proud of” – that is the determined call from the owners of the fire-ravaged former department store in Fakenham, as discussions begin on the site’s future rejuvenation.
A month after the blaze which ripped through the Upper Market Place, demolition work is well under way and thoughts are now turning to the swift replacement of the lost structures.
Tim Aldiss said he was “eternally grateful” for the support and patience of the community, neighboring businesses and tenants who rallied round after the flames destroyed the century-old building which carried his family’s name.
And now he intends to work with neighbouring property owners, architects and conservation officers to ensure the building which replaces it is a fitting and lasting addition to the townscape.
Mr Aldiss said: “I want to leave something that the town is proud of.
“We are trying to contact Brightmark, the people who own the old Curry’s building. We would like to get together so that when we go to replace the building, in consultation with the conservation officers and a very good architect, it is going to be an important building.
“We don’t know at this point whether it will be a mixture of retail and domestic.
“But we all want something we can proud of because it is such a lovely Georgian market place.”
Mr Aldiss said his family had been able to relocate two organisations displaced by the fire.
The Original Factory Shop is due to open at an empty premises on George Edwards Road, owned by the Aldiss family, on July 5 and the EP Youth project has moved to an office in Oak Street.
Meanwhile, the Aldiss store in Fakenham has contributed almost £2,500 of stock, including bed linen, kitchen and electricals, to tenants left homeless by the fire.
Mr Aldiss wished to thank Fakenham Town Council, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, Anglian Demolition and Asbestos, Ann and Michael Chappel at the Pedlar’s Gold shop, the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House and, in particular, North Norfolk District Council, saying: “They have rallied round and I eternally grateful for what they have done so far.”