Backing for Hoveton riverside bandstand plan

Momentum is gathering behind plans to turn an historic riverside site in Hoveton into a public performance area.

The untidy Granary Staithe, next to Wroxham bridge, is presently owned by Norfolk County Council which has put it up for sale and indicated it will accept �100,000.

Hoveton Parish Council is leading the campaign to buy and transform the space with a bandstand, seating, planting and information panels and councillor Peter Howe said there has been a heartening response to their public appeal launched in the past month.

He said: 'We have had good support from local businesses with offers of both cash and labour and materials for the work we want to do on the staithe after we have bought it.

'One donor has already offered us �1,000 and Wroxham and Hoveton Lions have volunteered to build a bridge over the dyke which is part of our plan to connect the staithe to the shopping precinct behind.'

Mr Howe, who runs a local cycle hire business, said they were also busy making various grant applications.

He said: 'Anyone wanting to make a donation is invited to visit out parish council chairman Carolyn Williams, who will be waiting in Roys, at the entrance to the food hall, between 10.30am and 12.30pm every Thursday this month.'

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Leaflets have been distributed explaining the project and it is hoped families on holiday cruisers will also respond to the appeal.

Mr Howe said: 'We are planning to make our bid in early August and hope that whatever we raise will be enough.'

The council's vision is to host regular bands, entertainers and theatrical productions next to the river.

New information panels will explain the history of the site where wherries once used to moor.

The decision of the county council's property arm, Norfolk Property Services, to put the site up for sale, initially for �250,000, has sparked resentment among some residents who feel that it should be regarded as a public space and not something the authority should profit from.

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