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Signs costing £45,000 could bring 'a real boost' to town centre

PUBLISHED: 15:34 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:43 18 July 2019

Dereham could soon be boosted by the installation of signage costing £45,000. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham could soon be boosted by the installation of signage costing £45,000. Picture: Ian Burt

A number of new pedestrian signs are set to make a Norfolk town "more welcoming and accessible" to visitors.

The new signage would include directions to key landmarks such as Dereham Windmill. Picture: Ian BurtThe new signage would include directions to key landmarks such as Dereham Windmill. Picture: Ian Burt

The recommendation for improved wayfinding signage in Dereham comes after specialist consultants, Streetwise, surveyed the town and its attractions over a week-long period.

Having been commissioned by the aboutDereham Partnership and funded by Breckland Council's Market Towns Initiative, Streetwise surveyor Peter McGrail identified 20 locations where signs could be located.

These include directions to key local landmarks such as Bishop Bonner's Museum, the Dereham Windmill and the Mid-Norfolk Railway.

Ken Hawkins, vice-chairman of the aboutDereham Partnership and the town's volunteer footpath warden, welcomed the recommendations of the report.

The new signage would include directions to key landmarks in Dereham such as the Mid-Norfolk Railway. Picture: Ian BurtThe new signage would include directions to key landmarks in Dereham such as the Mid-Norfolk Railway. Picture: Ian Burt

"I am pleased that the report recommends that many of the new signs will display a town map so that visitors can find places quite easily," he said.

"Some signs will also contain interpretation panels with short descriptions of points of interest."

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Mike Webb, chairman of the partnership, added: "When we are able to design and install the new signs, this will give a real boost to the town centre as a more welcoming and accessible environment."

The new signage would include directions to key landmarks in Dereham such as Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum. Picture: Matthew Usher.The new signage would include directions to key landmarks in Dereham such as Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum. Picture: Matthew Usher.

After considering how Dereham could best be served by new signage, Streetwise's resulting proposal revolves around a series of new signs running from the Cherry Tree car park to the public library.

Directional signs will branch off from the High Street, pointing residents and visitors alike in the direction of the Memorial Hall, windmill, railway and other attractions.

A number of key local stakeholders, including Dereham Town Council, Breckland Council, Norfolk County Council and Walkers Are Welcome, were consulted during the process and gave their views on how the new system could benefit everyone.

Specific funding is yet to be set aside for the implementation of the project, but Streetwise has estimated an overall cost of around £45,000 consisting of £34,000 for the signage and £11,000 for set-up and management costs.

Dereham could soon be boosted by the installation of signage costing £45,000. Picture: Ian BurtDereham could soon be boosted by the installation of signage costing £45,000. Picture: Ian Burt

The aboutDereham Partnership says it will meet with partner organisations in due course to discuss possible funding options.

The partnership would like to thank Breckland Council for funding the study and councillor Alison Webb for her ongoing support.

Streetwise's final report can be viewed on the aboutDereham website.

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