Bid for £25m to cure town’s congestion

Traffic queues on the A47 approaching the hardwick Roundabout, in King's Lynn. Picture: Chris Bishop

Traffic queues on the A47 approaching the hardwick Roundabout, in King's Lynn. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

King's Lynn could win up to £25m in government funding to cure congestion and launch a bid for a new railway station on its southern outskirts.

The west Norfolk port is one of 100 towns across the country which have been invited to apply for a share of a £3.6bn fund for communities which have been neglected in favour of cities when it comes to investment.

Sir Robert Jenrick, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, said: "We want to level up our towns and help them to continue to be vibrant, prosperous and connected places."

North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said the fund was in addition to the Future High Street Fund, where King's Lynn's bid has already been successful in the first round.

"What I like about the Towns Fund is that it covers regeneration plans, innovation, transport and other infrastructure," he said. "I am very confident that the borough council will be able to put together a really impressive application, and thus access significant new sums of government money to help what is already a major economic success story.

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"King's Lynn and West Norfolk is currently thriving with historically very low unemployment, a thriving manufacturing base and many new successful small businesses. However, this private sector success deserves to be complimented by transport and infrastructure that is fit for purpose."

Sir Henry said he was in discussions with the Borough Council in order to clearly identify where their key detailed priorities lie.

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"I will be pushing hard for better traffic management around King's Lynn, some extra money to help promote relief roads etc needed for new housing schemes, help for new broadband in areas that are currently under powered and "pump prime" money to look at further rail improvements including scoping a Lynn-Parkway Station."

Sir Henry said he hoped a strategic partnership recently signed with the James Palmer's combined Cambridgeshire and Peterborough authority.

He added: "Given that one of Mayor Palmer's key priorities for west Norfolk is bidding for King's Lynn to host a freeport so we maximise post-Brexit trade opportunities, there may well be scope for some of the Towns Fund to help with this."

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