Ideas sought to revitalise Norwich’s River Wensum

The City of Norwich viewed from the River Wensum. Picture: Denise Bradley

The City of Norwich viewed from the River Wensum. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

The ideas of people in Norwich will be crucial to helping to breathe new life into the River Wensum, according to leaders of a project which aims to boost its profile and usage.

The River Wensum strategy partnership is running a consultation to put the spotlight back on to the river, to help find ways to fulfil its potential.

The goal is to get more people to make use of the river, so it can once again play a valuable part in the growth and vitality of Norwich.

Ideas and suggestions for how the river can be used - and memories of how it once was used - are key to making that happen, say council leaders.

Mike Stonard, chairman of the River Wensum strategy partnership and Norwich City Council's cabinet member for resources and income generation, said: 'This is a great chance to get people talking about our beautiful river and how we can make the most of it for the benefit of the city and its residents.

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'We're looking forward to hearing people's ideas about opportunities to explore and issues to consider so we can write a tailor-made strategy that will improve this wonderful natural asset.

'Anyone can add value to this process by sharing their thoughts so I hope plenty of residents, stakeholders and local businesses get involved.'

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Alec Hartley, chairman of Wensum River Parkway Partnership, said: 'Since the Norwich Society and Norwich HEART founded the Parkway Partnership our aim has been to get all the main players on board to bring life back to the river.

'Now Norwich City Council has joined with Norfolk County Council, the Broads Authority, Environment Agency and ourselves to do just that. But there's still one partner missing – and that the most important one.

'I mean of course the citizens of Norwich and the people of Norfolk. That's why this consultation is being held, and that's why it's vital that anyone with ideas, experience and memories takes part. Come on in, the water's lovely!'

The consultation will explore the river's potential to boost Norwich's economy by attracting tourists and visitors, how it links to the footpath and cycle network, its heritage and its contribution to biodiversity.

It launches on Wednesday next week with an event between 1pm and 7pm at Blackfriars Hall in St Andrews Plain. A version of the consultation will also run online at until Friday, July 24.

The partnership says responses will be collated and analysed by the partnership to help identify the main areas of interest to be addressed in the development of the strategy, which will be the subject of a second consultation later this year.

• What do you think needs to be done to make more of the river Wensum? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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