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North Norfolk Railway soon to hear about £450,000 improvement grant bid

PUBLISHED: 09:30 05 January 2015

Sheringham Tourist Information Centre.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Sheringham Tourist Information Centre. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2012

Fingers are crossed that a major north Norfolk tourist attraction will get the cash it needs next month to help improve.

North Norfolk Railway, also known as the Poppy Line, hopes to hear in February that its bid for a £450,000 Coastal Communities grant has been successful.

If so, chiefs at the heritage steam railway will start work next winter on a plan to flatten North Norfolk District Council’s toilet block and Tourist Information Centre (TIC) at Sheringham Station and rebuild better facilities, plus a new shop and office, on the site and on a piece of adjoining railway-owned land.

The council’s cabinet, which meets tomorrow, is expected to give the transfer of the facilities its blessing, as long as the grant bid succeeds. It has already given planning permission for the scheme.

It would mean longer, year-round, opening hours for the TIC and at least the same opening hours for the toilets. The council, which would save £42,000 annually, would make a capital contribution towards the project costs.

Trevor Eady, railway general manager, said it would provide upgraded facilities for Poppy Line and other visitors to Sheringham.

He hoped the work would be completed by spring next year.

Mr Eady added that the railway was still totting up figures from the Santa and mince pie special events to find out whether 2014 had beaten 2013’s record numbers.

He promised a “mouth-watering gala” this year, from March 6-8, which would see Morayshire, a D49 locomotive based in Scotland visit the railway. The loco, owned by the National Rail Museum of Scotland, rarely left Scotland, said Mr Eady.

■ Are you planning a major event this year? Contact alex.hurrell@archant.co.uk

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