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Nearly £1m boost on the cards for town centre

PUBLISHED: 09:11 16 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:11 16 September 2019

North Walsham has won funding from Historic England. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

North Walsham has won funding from Historic England. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2015

A town centre in north Norfolk could see a cash injection of almost £1m.

Stephen Fry studied at Paston College - but was expelled. Picture: Matthew Usher.Stephen Fry studied at Paston College - but was expelled. Picture: Matthew Usher.

North Norfolk District Council has won funding from Historic England to breathe new life into North Walsham's historic centre, with a bid of up to £950,000 expected to be confirmed by decision makers in January next year.

The project, which is expected to start in April next year, will see improvement, restoration and repairs to buildings of historical significance across the town.

Historic England has a nationwide project to revitalise historic town centres. Picture: MARK BULLIMOREHistoric England has a nationwide project to revitalise historic town centres. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

The aim of the nationwide project is to revitalise neglected historic buildings and sites and encourage regeneration in areas that are rich in uncelebrated heritage.

Virginia Gay, North Norfolk District Council's portfolio holder for culture and wellbeing, said: "North Walsham is a wonderful mediaeval market town, with associations with Nelson and the Paston family. Its historic core is abundant with heritage assets, which will be a key aspect of its future regeneration.

North Walsham could get up to £950,000 from Historic England.  Picture: MARK BULLIMORENorth Walsham could get up to £950,000 from Historic England. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

"As well as the physical improvements that the High Streets Heritage Action Zone will bring, our project will help reinforce the pride that the town's active community has in its cultural heritage.

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"We are delighted to have the opportunity of working with Historic England to bring about the investments in north Norfolk's most historic town."

Norfolk has already benefitted from the project, after King's Lynn became the county's first heritage action zone.

The five-year project was launched in 2017 and, along with reviving the town's history, also encouraged the development of affordable well-designed homes.

North Walsham, a former weaving town, dates back to the Anglo-Saxon times and was the site of the final battle in the 1381 Peasants revolt.

Later in the 1600s, most of the town was destroyed by a fire and gave way to the Georgian buildings seen in Market Place today.

The town's school, Paston College, also has its own links to history with several famous graduates.

Vice-admiral Lord Nelson attended the college in the 1700s and, more recently, Stephen Fry was a student - although he was expelled.



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