New homes and jobs to be created by vision to revitalise historic parts of King’s Lynn

Historic King's Lynn is set to become a Heritage Action Zone. Picture: Ian Burt

Historic King's Lynn is set to become a Heritage Action Zone. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

New homes and jobs are set to be created by a five-year vision to breathe new life into historic parts of King's Lynn.

The town has been chosen as one of the country's first 'heritage action zones', which aims to revitalise historic parts of the town, create economic growth and improve the quality of life for people living there.

Historic England, the driving force behind this nationwide project, hopes it will breathe new life into neglected historic buildings and sites and encourage regeneration in areas that are rich in uncelebrated heritage.

Lynn joins Appleby in Cumbria, Coventry in the West Midlands, Elsecar in South Yorkshire, Hull in East Yorkshire, Nottingham in Nottinghamshire, Ramsgate in Kent, Sunderland in Tyne and Wear, Sutton in South London and Weston-super-Mare in Somerset.

It is the only Heritage Action Zone in the East of England.

Over the next five years, the project will research the history of key sites in King's Lynn and identify the most important historic buildings and areas.

It will also encourage the development of affordable well-designed homes reinforcing the character of the town, find new uses for underutilised space in the town centre and provide a programme of community events.

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Funding - of an amount not yet decided - will be given to Lynn by Historic England. John Neale, its planning director in the east of England said: 'King's Lynn has always been a dynamic trading town and the legacy of that economic activity is in the wonderful buildings that give King's Lynn its unique character.

'The Heritage Action Zone will help encourage the next economic story in the town's rich history, one that uses its past to improve the future for King's Lynn's residents, businesses and visitors.'

Historic England says historic areas give places their character and individuality - a focus for community pride, a sense of shared history, and a sense of belonging. Research shows that businesses based in older places are more productive and well-kept historic places add greatly to cultural life. It says: 'Through our new Heritage Action Zones initiative, we seek historic places that have the potential to become focal points for sustainable economic development and community life. We will focus our help and resources on these places to bring them to life.'