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Norwich City Council needs your help for ideas in The River Wensum Strategy

PUBLISHED: 09:15 11 June 2015

On the River Wensum at Bishopsgate Bridge. Picture: Denise Bradley

On the River Wensum at Bishopsgate Bridge. Picture: Denise Bradley

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Leaders of a project which aims to unlock the potential of the River Wensum say people who use and love the waterway will be integral in shaping its future.

The strategy:

The River Wensum is at the geographic heart of Norwich – but there have been calls for years now to put it at the cultural and social centre too.

Now a vision to develop a strategy for the waterway is being developed, with the hope of making it a focus for tourism, leisure and business.

With the hope of securing cash from sources such as National Lottery, Norwich City Council is leading a joint strategy for the river, working in partnership with the Broads Authority, Norfolk County Council, the Norwich Society, the Environment Agency and the Wensum River Parkway Partnership.

It will manage the River Wensum, while also increasing access too.

A consultation will be held later this month to collect ideas from people across Norwich on how they want the river to be developed.

Calls have been made for years to make more of the stretch of river from Hellesdon Mill to Whitlingham Country Park, near Trowse, mirroring cities like Cambridge, York and Bath.

Now Norwich City Council is leading the charge for a joint strategy for the area, working in partnership with the Broads Authority, Norfolk County Council, the Norwich Society, the Environment Agency and the Wensum River Parkway Partnership.

The River Wensum Strategy aims to use the river as a focus for tourism, leisure and business and could secure funding, such as National Lottery cash, to make the projects a reality.

At the Broads Authority’s Local Access Forum yesterday, Adrian Clarke, senior waterways and recreation officer at the authority, explained the consultation is a chance for everyone to have their say on how the project moves forward.

He said: “We want to consult before we put a strategy together to see what issues other people felt should be included. Anyone can have their say on what they think the river strategy should consider, what it should look at and any projects people have ideas for.

The City of Norwich viewed from the River Wensum. The Lady Julian Bridge at Riverside. Picture: Denise BradleyThe City of Norwich viewed from the River Wensum. The Lady Julian Bridge at Riverside. Picture: Denise Bradley

“We want to get as many views in as we can about this. There are going to be people out there who have their own project ideas. As others have said, it’s about breathing life back into the river.”

Norwich grew around the winding waterway, and until the arrival of the railway and modern roads, it was how goods and trade came to the city, which was once England’s second largest.

The river was the very lifeblood of the city, and it is the strategy’s aim to recreate that once more.
The consultation will be held at Blackfriars’ Hall between 1pm and 7pm on June 24.

Anyone is welcome.

How do you think the River Wensum could be improved? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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