Councillors back Diss mere boardwalk plans

Civic leaders have backed plans for a major revamp of Diss town centre that would include the creation of a new boardwalk alongside the iconic mere.

Diss Town Councillors gave their support to the project to improve the historic part of the south Norfolk market town at a meeting on Wednesday ahead of an application for funding to the Heritage Lottery Fund later this summer.

Town leaders hope to complete the regeneration of the Diss Corn Hall and make the areas around St Nicholas Street and Market Hill more pedestrian friendly, if a funding bid proves successful.

An application for �97,300 of Heritage Lottery Fund money is set to be submitted in August to pay for detailed plans to be drawn up for a �1.8m project.

If successful, the funding would be used to demolish the 1970s extension of the Corn Hall to create a modern new office, kitchen, bar area and entrance at the entertainment venue and install a more efficient heating system.

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The money would also be used to create three pedestrian-friendly outdoor squares in the Market Hill and St Nicholas Street area to bring more people into the historic part of Diss.

The proposals would also include a zig-zag footpath running from the back of the town council offices to connect up to a new boardwalk along Diss Mere that will run to Hales Yard and the King's Head Yard car park. The project is being led by the town's Heritage Triangle Partnership.

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Deborah Sarson, town clerk, said the proposals would help boost tourism and the town's economy.

'It is to gain more interest and to get more people to come to this part of town. Diss has such a rich history and it is about making people think about the stories behind the buildings,' she said.

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