Community views sought over the future of Downham Market

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.

Views are being sought over the future of a west Norfolk town and its historic town hall.

Businesses, residents and visitors are being asked to help shape plans, investments and potential improvements for Downham Market after a three-week consultation was launched on Monday, May 10.

Opportunities Downham Market, which is led by a partnership including Downham Market Town Council and West Norfolk Council, is also looking to gather specific ideas about future uses of the Town Hall.

It hopes to bring together the people and businesses in the town, borough and county councils, health representatives and young people on the initiative, and to also "encompass" various funding schemes that could benefit the town including the Welcome Back Fund, the Community Renewal Fund and the Levelling-up Fund.

Mayor Jenny Groom said it will give the community a chance to have their say on the way the town develops in the future, particularly in response to the impact of Covid-19. 

She added: "We hope to come up with some great initiatives and ideas that will not only attract funding into the area, but will benefit Downham Market and its economy."

A Downham Opportunities Partnership is being established to review feedback from the consultation and to work on plans for the future development of Downham Market as a place to live, work or visit and invest.

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Ms Groom said: "We really want to hear from people, to see what they think of the town, what the positives are and where the areas for improvement might be.  

"There are lots of opportunities to explore as we look for ways to encourage people back to the town centre, to capitalise on the opportunities presented by people who are now home working rather than commuting, and to develop our tourism offer as more people are likely to be holidaying in this country for a while."

The mayor added that the partnership would also like to hear ideas of how Downham Market Town Hall could be put to better use as it is currently underused.

To take part in the consultation visit surveymonkey.co.uk/r/QRVSQLS. The survey closes at midnight on May 28.

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