Sheringham’s Upcher Community Partnership to close its town centre base and Stalham partnership leader to lose job

A cash-starved community partnership is closing its high street headquarters - but its leaders are vowing to 'battle' on for the sake of the people and town it serves.

With its North Norfolk Community Partnership grant ending, Sheringham's Upcher Community Partnership is closing its Station Road shop on March 30.

The Upcher and other town partnerships across the district have been left short of money because North Norfolk District Council decided to end the community partnership funding and redirect it into a Big Society fund from April 1.

Partnership manager Janet Farrow said: 'The partnership will continue. We've got an application in to the lottery to try to find ourselves another base to do the same as we do in the high street.

'There has been uncertainty for 18 months. It is not very easy to fund the kind of work that we do. We're very upset about this, but we've got massive support out there. It's going to be a battle.'

Mrs Farrow and administrator Jason Bell will continue to be available to the public for any community issues and will continue promoting job vacancies in the area.

A member of the partnership staff will be available to visit at the town hall on Church Street on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1.30-5pm. The telephone number 01263 825952 and the email remain the same.

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Mrs Farrow said: 'We have enough funding to keep us going for a few months, which has been helped by the town council's generosity in allowing us to use the town hall.'

A statement from the partnership said: 'The Upcher board and staff would like to thank all the public for their support over the past four years and strongly believe that the partnership has provided an excellent community service. This is localism in action.

'We will continue to be pro-active and seek alternative sources of funding to continue to provide information, guidance and advice on any issue relating to enhancing our residents' and visitors' way of life.

'Janet and Jason would like to invite all members of the public to enjoy a cup of coffee and a chat in the shop for the last time on Tuesday March 27 from 11am-2pm.'

? The cuts also mean that Michael Castle will be losing his job as co-ordinator of the Stalham with Happing Partnership at the end of March. The partnership's successful Advice Shop, at 35A High Street, Stalham, will remain open until the end of April. Its future beyond then depends on grant applications.

Happing Festival director Avril Smith and her committee are hoping to attract enough cash to keep the shop open permanently and develop a Stalham Gallery there to display the work of 60 local artists.