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Tesco cash will bring improvements for Swaffham

PUBLISHED: 06:08 17 January 2014

How the Swaffham Tesco will look. Photo: submitted.

How the Swaffham Tesco will look. Photo: submitted.

Archant

Town leaders are hoping a six-figure cash injection from a supermarket development will help make some key improvements to Swaffham.

A new Tesco store is being built on Castle Acre Road and is due to open in early spring.

And as well as the development, Swaffham is to get £250,000 from the supermarket giant as part of the planning agreement.

Discussions have been taking place to decide how the town would like to see the money spent with key projects set to include wifi in the town, much-needed improvements to an area known as The Shambles, upgrades to the town’s lamp posts and improvements to the Buttercross and surrounding area.

Town clerk Richard Bishop said: “We’re trying to make that money go as far as we can and we’re looking at things that can move forward.

“As with all town councils up and down the country, we want to make our town a more user-friendly place and an attractive place to come to work, live, visit, shop and eat and we’re trying to enhance what’s there and give the town a bit of TLC – £250,000 isn’t going to solve all our problems but we want to use it in a positive way which maximises what we have.”

Discussions have taken place with representatives from Tesco, Swaffham’s business forum and other key partner agencies.

It is hoped to resurface The Shambles, a network of seven paths, and to enhance the town’s famed Buttercross.

The town council is looking at improving the attractive monument and the surrounding area, including lighting the area at night-time.

Other projects include information boards in the town centre and converting the lamp posts to bring them up-to-date.

The town council is also looking at a new pedestrian crossing to improve access between the site where the new Tesco is being built and the town centre. It is also hoped to improve cycle links between the two areas.

The money will be released to the town council once the store is open and then the town council will have five years to spend it.

Building work on the new Tesco store started last month.

Once it is open, it will sell predominantly food with a limited range of non-food products such as clothes, newspapers and magazines.

The store, which was granted planning permission in 2012 and is being built by Millngate, will create up to 150 jobs.

It will be the latest foodstore in the town which already has an Asda, Waitrose, Iceland and Co-op.

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