Historic high street gets £380,000 cash boost

Swaffham High Street Heritage Action Zone - The Buttercross in SwaffhamImage: Breckland District Cou

The Buttercross in Swaffham - Credit: Breckland Council

A council has secured £380,000 worth of funding to protect and support a historic high street and market place.

At a Breckland Council meeting on Thursday, September 24, councillors approved match funding from Historic England which will go towards protecting Swaffham’s historic high street.

The money will be used as part of a heritage programme which will see Swaffham High Street become one of the country’s new High Streets Heritage Action Zones (HSHAZ).

The programme, which costs £697,900, will bring in a package of measures to assist the economic recovery of the retail and service sector in the town over the next four years and will be delivered by Breckland Council alongside its partners, including Swaffham Town Council.

Plans include improvements to historic shop fronts and other commercial premises and a feasibility study into making the shared environment between pedestrians and motorists more sustainable.

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In turn, it is hoped this will make Swaffham increasingly attractive as a place to live and work and encourage more visitors and inward investment.

The mayor of Swaffham, Jill Skinner, said: “The town council are delighted that Swaffham Town Centre will receive this cash injection, as it provides a welcome boost during these difficult times.

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“The HSHAZ project offers the town a real opportunity to build a better future and local people can play an important part in helping to deliver some of the aspirations and policies outlined in our Neighbourhood Plan.”

Community involvement is at the heart of this scheme and an ambitious programme of cultural events and activities will also be developed, focused on celebrating the heritage and character of the town and its people.

Mark Robinson, Breckland Council’s executive member for community, leisure and culture, said that the decision was in line with the council’s commitment to supporting local towns to thrive.

He said: “This programme will help protect Swaffham’s historic town centre while making the most of its rich heritage for modern residents and visitors.

“We’ll now look to deliver a series of heritage improvements around the market place that will significantly improve the environment and make it attractive to shoppers and visitors alike.”

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