New opportunities partnership is 'important step forward' for town

Downham mayor Jenny Groom, Amanda and Simon Prior, Louis Barker, Nina Narramore, Sarah Cox and Jamie McGuffog.

Pictured from left to right: Downham mayor Jenny Groom, Amanda and Simon Prior, Louis Barker, Nina Narramore, Sarah Cox and Jamie McGuffog. - Credit: Ian Burt

A new partnership set up to 'make a difference' for Downham Market aims to make the town a better place to live, visit and work.

Opportunities Downham Market has launched a new partnership made up of representatives from Downham Market, borough councils and local businesses and organisations, which aims to be a "catalyst for improvement" for the town.

The group has brought together different people to shape the future of the town to bring investment and improvements, which Downham Market mayor Jenny Groom said is an "important step forward".

Downham Market town centre, looking onto the Town Square and clock. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Downham Market town centre, looking onto the Town Square and clock. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The partnership aims to attract funding and involve the community in shaping future plans.

Ms Groom said: “This is a really exciting time for Downham Market and we look forward to shaping a bright future for the town, not least as we emerge from Covid-19.”

Opportunities Downham Market launched a three-week consultation in May to allow people to have a say over the future of the town and its town hall.


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Around 401 people gave their views, with survey results revealing its market town status is considered important, and that food shopping, hospitality, and personal care are the top reasons why people visit.

The market, supermarkets, and restaurants and cafes are revealed as the main places people visit.

The mayor of Downham Market, Jenny Groom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The mayor of Downham Market, Jenny Groom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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Downham Market received mixed views in how it was described from being called "friendly, pretty and quaint" to "boring and dated", with scope for improvements.

This included calls for a "greater vibrancy and variety" in the town such as a better choice of retail outlets, an expanded, improved market, and more of a "café culture".

Suggestions were also offered to use the town hall for improving career and business prospects, for wellbeing workshops, and an internet café, bistro, or specialist café.

Ms Groom said the feedback was interesting and insightful, and that "things could be made better".

She added: “This survey is just the start of the conversation with local people.

"We want to continue hearing what matters to Downham Market residents so that any improvements can reflect local needs and wants."

Opportunities Downham Market will launch its website next week.

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