Factory site creates opportunity for new gateway to historic town

A town centre site due to be left vacant when the area's biggest employer moves to larger premises a short distance away will create a golden opportunity to build a new gateway to Attleborough, the area's MP has said.

Banham Poultry is looking to move to its old home at Bunns Bank industrial park after signing a three-year deal to supply chickens to the supermarket chain Morrisons.

That means its existing site will be free – and Mid-Norfolk MP George Freeman said: 'This provides an opportunity for something very special for the town.'

At an event at Attleborough Town Hall with councillors, business leaders and dignitaries from the area, he added: 'If we are going to put this town and area on the map, we don't want people to be trapped in their cars in gridlock. We want people to be able to get in and out quickly and we want them to come to Attleborough to discover this market town.'

His vision, outlined at the event, includes transforming the railway station area to include shops, pedestrian areas, attractive trees and hanging plants and signs pointing the way to Attleborough's most historic parts.

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'We have a huge opportunity to make that station and that site a real gateway to the town,' he said. 'It seems like this is a great opportunity to do something else off the back of this growth.'

He pledged to 'do anything I can to make this dream a reality' and said part of the goal was to encourage people to 'bypass places like Cambridge and come to Attleborough'.

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Mr Freeman's plan was welcomed by Attleborough mayor Karen Pettitt, who said it was a 'good opportunity for the town' but added: 'We have to make sure it will be done right and it is going to take time.'

Mr Freeman estimated his vision for Attleborough would take about five years to fulfil.

Attleborough Heritage Group has already unveiled its dream to transform parts of the railway station into a museum.

Chairman Cliff Amos said: 'Attleborough station is an important facility for the expanding town and AHG believes it could be renovated to serve a very useful purpose'

What do you think of the vision for Attleborough? Tell EDP reporter Andrew Papworth by calling 01379 651153 or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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