‘Very inspirational’ - Town learns lessons from Gloucestershire counterpart
- Credit: Google/Ian Burt
A group of residents and councillors in a Norfolk town are looking to Cirencester, in Gloucestershire, as they plan to improve their town centre and its historic marketplace.
Earlier this year, the Dereham Town plan working group was jointly established by the town council and the aboutDereham partnership to agree a set of priorities that they hope will inform Breckland district council’s shared plan to improve the area’s market towns.
The group has said that improving the marketplace is their top priority, and are looking at what can be learned from similar improvement schemes elsewhere in the UK.
Chief executive officer of Cirencester Town Council Andrew Tubb spoke to the working group this week about Cirencester’s success in modernising their marketplace.
An aboutDereham spokesperson said: “There are lots of parallels in the two towns - over-congested narrow streets, marketplaces with too much two-way traffic, buses idling with engines running – all leading to noise, dirt, fumes and pollution damage.
You may also want to watch:
“Over time, Cirencester’s markets had declined, reducing in number and much smaller – this will all sound very familiar to Dereham residents.
“Cirencester’s main aim in pushing forward with their town centre improvement scheme was to reduce the volume of traffic and that’s what we’d like to do here.
- 1 Brother and sister found dead in their home are named
- 2 Reward of £20,000 offered after theft of performance car worth £150,000
- 3 When are GCSE and A-level results out and how fair will grades be?
- 4 Man jailed for stealing underwear and sex toy from village house
- 5 'It did not deliver': Glamping site vows to improve after guests hit out
- 6 Villagers in shock after woman dies in suspected murder
- 7 Woman admits causing deaths of Norfolk couple in road crash
- 8 'She loved planting flowers' - Tributes left at home of woman found dead
- 9 Norwich City transfer rumours: Talks held with United full-back
- 10 Man arrested on suspicion of murder after woman dies in village
“However, Dereham has much to learn, having had a similar experience to Cirencester, where some plans date back to the 1960’s but with no schemes ever having been implemented.”
Mike Webb, Chairman of aboutDereham noted: “The one key guarantee of Cirencester’s success was to get the agreement of all key stakeholders before starting.
“Now we have an active working group to push the improvements forward and with Breckland’s shared plan beginning to take shape, I believe we’re in a good place to move forward.”
Cirencester’s scheme created a pedestrianised area protected by bollards, around which traffic can move slowly.
Mr Tubb said that markets have increased in popularity and footfall has increased five-fold.
He explained that while local traders had been concerned they would lose business, the opposite has been the case, with visitor numbers up significantly.
“Change was inevitable and the trick was to change in the right direction,” said Mr Tubb.
Dereham mayor Stuart Green said: “Cirencester had faced very similar issues to us and listening to their experience and successes was very inspirational.”