Two Norfolk towns to fight for share of £220m funding war chest
- Credit: Aaron McMillan
Two Norfolk towns are set to fight for shares of a £220m war chest of government cash.
At a meeting of Fakenham Town Council on April 20, it was revealed that the town, along with North Walsham, would be put forward for a share of the UK Community Renewal fund.
The scheme, which was set up to replace funding lost as a result of the UK's exit from the European Union, is geared at financing improvements to communities in need of investment.
And Steve Blatch, chief executive of North Norfolk District Council, told the meeting that Fakenham and North Walsham would be the council's nominations for the fund - with the district one of 100 priority areas identified in the scheme..
Mr Blatch said he believes the two towns were ideal candidates due to their growth town status and extensions that are proposed for housing and employment growth.
The maximum that can be funded in any one district is £3m, which would have to be spent by March 2022.
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If the towns are successful, it will unlock funding that can be invested in projects to improve employment opportunities.
The funding will not, however, be able to be used for large scale building projects, land purchases or buying equipment.
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The council is now forming a steering group to explore project proposals, requesting representatives from councillors.
These include Gilly Foortse and Mark Campbell from the town council. Christopher Cushing and Jeremy Punchard from the district and Tom FitzPatrick as the area’s county councillor.
There will also be figures from business, training, tourism, education, and environmental organisation, which will initially come together and discuss a programme of projects which the community in Fakenham would like to see delivered.
Mr Campbell has been working on the development of new sporting facilities which could see itself being fast-tracked if they have access to the funding.
Proposals need to be submitted to the county council by May 14, which will then decide or agree which projects have the best chance across the four priority areas of Norfolk.
There will then be a period of a further four weeks in which the bids can be strengthened or finalised into a full package that needs to be submitted to the government by June 18.