Jeweller's shop regains its sparkle after roof nearly collapsed

Donne Kidson

Donne Kidson in the bridal lounge which has reopened at Francis Wain Jewellers in King;s Lynn after the business was given a grant for roof repairs - Credit: Chris Bishop

Brides and grooms will be able to sip champagne while they choose their wedding rings again after a jeweller's shop was awarded a grant to build back better from the pandemic.

Francis Wain Jewellers in King's Lynn sustained serious damage to its roof during lockdown and had to close its first floor showroom.

Now the family-run business, which has been trading from its Grade II listed shop on Norfolk Street for 70 years, has been given an £8,800 Plan for the Future grant from West Norfolk council towards the cost of repairs.

Francis Wain

The Francis Wain Jewellers shop on Norfolk Street in King' Lynn - Credit: Chris Bishop

Director Donne Kidson said: “This grant has, quite literally, enabled us to build back better.

“We were faced with the prospect of parts of the roof collapsing. We are now once again able to invite customers up to our first floor bridal lounge, where they can sit at the bar and perhaps sip Champagne while they choose.

"It also enables us to keep them safer by increasing our ability to socially distance. It will also help us to reduce our carbon footprint because we will be able to insulate the building more efficiently.

“These grants are there to support businesses to recover from the pandemic and I would encourage other business owners to think about applying so they can come back stronger.”

Donne Kidson

Donne Kidson at Francis Wain Jewellers in King's Lynn - Credit: Chris Bishop

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Miss Kidson said the grant would cover 75pc of the cost of repairs, with the business, which employs 10 staff, match funding the remainder.

Plan for the Future grants are operated by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) on behalf of the council.

Its leader Stuart Dark, who is also a board member of the  LEP, said: “This is exactly what these grants are for.

“We have already helped many businesses to continue trading; these grants will help them to thrive as they move forward. It was a pleasure to hear how Francis Wain Jewellers are using this grant to great effect.”

Grants of £2,500 to £25,000 are still available and the money must be spent by February 28.

Applicants will need to show how they have been impacted by COVID-19, what they propose to use the money for, how they think this will help make the business sustainable over the long term.

To apply contact the New Anglia Growth Hub on 0300 333 6536 or email

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