'What makes Thetford, Thetford?': A project set to change the town's future

The survey, ‘Let’s talk about Thetford’, by Hemingway Design, has been extended for a further week to give the community...

Wayne Hemingway MBE, one of the UK’s leading urban regeneration experts, has been commissioned to lead a bold and innovative new project in Thetford. - Credit: Canva/Breckland Council

International designer Wayne Hemingway and his team have spent the last year trying to find out what makes Thetford, Thetford. 

This comes as part of a significant regeneration project, commissioned by Breckland Council, to create a united vision and ensure the Thetford's long-term viability and success.  

Working closely with local councils, residents, businesses and community organisations, Mr Hemingway aims to create a “place brand” using “core values” to put the town back on the map as destination for tourists, businesses and families to live. 

These core values will be decided using the results of a digital survey - where the community shared their views about the town - which was sent out earlier this year.   

Thetford town centre.

Thetford town centre. - Credit: Sonya Duncan(C) Archant

In a previous interview, Mr Hemingway said the success of the project would be reliant on the support and involvement of the community

“Our job is not to come in and stamp what Thetford is on the town. How could we possibly do that?” he said. 

“Our job is to use our experience of gathering what people say and pulling that together and then playing it back to everybody and saying, ‘have we got this right?’. 

Thetford Forest.

Thetford Forest. - Credit: Archant

Mr Hemingway said the town’s core values, which will be taken from the survey, will help to make important decisions on anything from housing developments to park benches. 

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Sam Chapman-Allen, leader of Breckland Council, said the authority was "delighted" to be working with Mr Hemingway.  

“For over 1,000 years Thetford has been reinventing itself," he said in a previous interview. 

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“The town has now grown into a modern town with a diverse and strong multi-cultural community and a mixture of local and multinational businesses.   

“We want to drive the further transformation and innovation of the town and I invite all of the community and local organisations to get involved in building a Thetford where everyone can thrive and prosper.” 

Thetford town centre. Photo: Emily Thomson

Thetford town centre. Photo: Emily Thomson - Credit: Archant

Mr Hemingway, who has been involved in similar regeneration projects across the country, including in Lowestoft, said at the launch earlier this year: “It’s important that this future vision is for Thetford, by Thetford – our role is to listen to the people who know the town best, and translate their experience into an honest, aspirational and achievable future story for this great place.” 

The statue of last King of Punjab, Maharajah Duleep Singh in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy

The statue of last King of Punjab, Maharajah Duleep Singh in Thetford. Picture: Rebecca Murphy - Credit: Archant

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