Overgrown plot of unused land set to be transformed after cash injection
PUBLISHED: 16:57 03 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:57 03 March 2020
Ambitious plans to transform a previously neglected area in a mid Norfolk market town are firmly underway following a huge cash injection.
A new community pocket park is set to be developed in the heart of Dereham this year, offering a new tranquil public meeting space, a community garden and a performance area.
It comes following a successful funding partnership bid between community group aboutDereham Partnership, site landowner Dencora , and Breckland Council.
Mark Robinson, executive member for community, leisure and culture at the council, said: "This innovative project will deliver a wonderful focal point for both residents and visitors to enjoy, enhancing their time spent in the town centre. This project has been made possible with match funding from Breckland's Market Town Initiative programme and clearly demonstrates our commitment to town centre regeneration and supporting the high street."
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The £15,000 grant has been awarded from the Pocket Park Fund - part of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government - for the new community space which will be match funded by Breckland Council to make a total of £30,000.
This funding will help transform an overgrown plot of unused land adjacent to Wright's Walk in Dereham town shopping centre, into a community garden for local visitors or residents to use.
Mike Webb, of aboutDereham, said: "We are incredibly pleased to receive the £15,000 Pocket Park grant award and the £15,000 match funding from Breckland Council, which will help develop this unsightly area in Dereham into a beautiful focal point for residents of Dereham and surrounding areas.
"We will be working with our members to provide a programme of events once the site has been fully developed."
The shopping centre was first developed in 2005 to provide a new retail pedestrian loop and to improve the parking provision for the centre of Dereham.
Ed King, managing director of Dencora, which currently owns the site, added: "We are very pleased to be offering the community this unique central area to enhance the shopping experience in the town centre and provide a valuable green meeting space for the whole community to enjoy."