Funding joy for Waveney Valley tourist tapes project

A group that aims to promote the interests of towns in the Waveney valley area will now be able to proceed with a major tourism initiative after receiving grant funding.

The Waveney Valley Towns Group has achieved its �42,500 target for a project to provide audio tours for tourists visiting the seven market towns – Diss, Eye, Harleston, Beccles, Bungay, Loddon and Halesworth.

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), which supports the rural economy, has provided �32,500 funding, while the Big Lottery Fund's Awards for All scheme has granted �10,000.

Pat Holtom, chair of the Waveney Valley Local Area Group, which considers grant applications, was delighted with the decision.

She said: 'It is very exciting to see the seven local towns working together to develop this particular tourism project, which will encourage visitors to explore more of the Waveney Valley and visit our very attractive market towns which are such a feature of the area.

'The audio guides provide infor-mation about each town and visitors will be able to appreciate the differ-ences and similarities of each one.'

She added the partnership between the towns could help develop future ideas to encourage tourists and local people to visit the area and enjoy the facilities on offer, including local shops, cafes and pubs.

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The group has been formed with representatives from each of the seven market towns to deliver the audio tours and future projects which will be of mutual benefit to each of the towns but also to the Waveney valley as a whole.

The seven audio tours should be available by next spring for free download at a website being developed, which will also provide maps and promotional booklets.

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