Facelift hope for North Walsham shopping precinct

Part of North Walsham's St Nicholas Court shopping precinct. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Part of North Walsham's St Nicholas Court shopping precinct. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A run-down 1970s shopping precinct in north Norfolk's largest town is set for a facelift.

St Nicholas Court, which sits beside North Walsham's magnificent grade one listed medieval church, has been an eyesore for a decade in the heart of the town's Conservation Area.

But now North Walsham Town Council and community interest company Regenerate North Walsham have agreed to work together to improve the area.

Their plans include resurfacing the pedestrian areas and installing a water feature with a removable stage which could be placed over it for performances.

They hope the makeover will revive the area's fortunes and help attract more shoppers.

There will also be information in the precinct about what stood there before the 1970s.

An entire neighbourhood was demolished to make way for the precinct and the nearby Vicarage Street Car Park.

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The pedestrian areas of the precinct, which includes a number of shops and businesses, have been neglected since 2006 when the management company responsible was declared insolvent.

North Norfolk District Council has pledged its support for the new project, offering professional and funding advice.

Nick Clancy, clerk to North Walsham Town Council, said: 'This proposal for a much needed and long overdue facelift will hopefully mean the main market can be extended into an attractive and thriving centre for shops, stalls and entertainment.'

Rebecca Matthews, regeneration manager with Regenerate North Walsham, said the project would provide the town with quarter of an acre of useful public space for business, entertainment and leisure use.

And Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said the council encouraged initiatives which helped keep town centres at the heart of the community.