King's Lynn in line for £25m bonanza

King's Lynn is on track for a multi-million-pound cash boost which council bosses say could see it become a regional centre to rival the likes of Norwich, Cambridge and Peterborough.

King's Lynn is on track for a multi-million-pound cash boost which council bosses say could see it become a regional centre to rival the likes of Norwich, Cambridge and Peterborough.

The town is lined up for an immediate £25m injection of funds and more to come after the government invited bids for “growth-point status” funding - even though Lynn failed at the first hurdle when it applied for the title earlier this year.

It will be a massive boost for the area, and will serve as a catalyst for projects worth millions of pounds.

And council leaders say it will take the town to the next level as a regional centre.

Nick Daubney, leader of the council, said: “This is not a bid to help a town that needs propping up; this is a bid to support exciting projects already underway.

“King's Lynn could continue as it is or we can take it to the next level. This is about taking it to the next level. It will mean better jobs and moving closer to national averages in pay-scale levels.

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“The growth-point funding will mean we have funding to put into programmes and infrastructure to enhance our projects and make them more deliverable and quicker.”

The £25m of initial funding will pay for vital infrastructure, enabling thousands of homes to be built on developments including the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area and the proposed £20m Boal Quay marina.

Work on transport strategies, flood-risk assessment, master planning and extending the Hardwick Industrial Estate will also get funding.

The £25m will last over three years after which more money could be made available.

This is on top of investment coming in to the town including a £330m paper mill, a new university college campus, power station extension and an academy high school.

John Norton, head of regeneration at the council, said: “This is a major regional centre with a catchment area of about 200,000 from west Norfolk but also north Cambridgeshire and south Lincolnshire.

“This funding will enable us to take the town to another level.”

The delivery plan, submitted to the government's regional office Go-East yesterday, aims to show that the town is capable of providing, on mostly urban brownfield land, at least 7,000 of the 12,000 new homes earmarked for west Norfolk in the Regional Spatial Strategy by 2021, increasing the population of the town from 41,000 to 50,000.

A large part of the plan is to promote the town's heritage, culture and image as well as education and training, making it an attractive place to live.

There are about 49 towns in England given growth-point status, including Thetford and Norwich.

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