Plans to 'revitalise' Watton and Swaffham with leisure centre and arts hub

Swaffham town centre/market place. Photo: Ian Burt

Plans have been drawn up to "revitalise" Watton and Swaffham. - Credit: Archant

New plans to "revitalise" Watton and Swaffham, which will see an arts hub and a leisure centre built in the latter, have been drawn up and made public.

The Future Breckland project aims to improve the areas five market towns, with a plan already drawn up for Dereham.

Some of the short term suggestions put forward in the plan for Swaffham include installing public art, trialling partial pedestrianisation schemes and car-free days and installing electric vehicle charging points.

Watton’s short term suggestions include shop front improvements, improved signage in the town, work to make the town centre easier to negotiate for pedestrians and cyclists and themed events and festivals that celebrate Watton.

Long term plans for Swaffham include building a new leisure centre and a new culture and arts hub, increased office and industrial space on Turbine way and "reinvigorating" the market.

Watton's long term plans will see Chaston Place and Middle Street "upgraded", improvements to Loch Neaton and a new public car park.

Plans will also see the old Watton to Swaffham railway line repurposed to become a walking and cycling route, linking the two towns.

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Councillor Paul Claussen, Breckland’s executive member for economic development and growth, said: “The proposals laid out in these plans for Watton and Swaffham are ambitious – but this is part of the great ambitions we have for the future of our district’s towns.

"The plan we revealed for Dereham was met with great enthusiasm by the public, which was wonderful to see.

"I hope that these latest plans are also greeted with the same interest, and energise the residents of Watton and Swaffham to get involved with the Future Breckland project – and let us have their feedback.”

Breckland Council aims to fulfil the short term goals in one to three years and the long term goals in the next decade.

For further information on the plans visit: www.breckland.gov.uk/Future-Breckland

Next the council will begin drawing up its plans for Attleborough and Thetford.