Poll: Work begins on �600,000 town centre improvements in Thetford
Work on a new public performance stage and a clock tower in the centre of Thetford has begun as part of a regeneration project.
The �600,000 scheme aims to transform the area outside the Boots shop in King Street into a public square.
The area has been designed with a performance stage and terrace where drama groups and brass bands can hold outside performances.
The initiative also includes proposals for the demolition of a brick wall and archway between King Street and St Giles Lane to create a new clock tower.
The work is due to take about 15 weeks to complete with funds coming from Moving Thetford Forward's town centre regeneration scheme.
William Nunn, chairman of Moving Thetford Forward, said: 'It will be a great space for people to unwind and rest. The plans have been welcomed by huge numbers of people in the local area and I'm sure that once the project is complete it will breathe new life into the whole street.'
'The bell and clock tower archway has been included as a celebration of Thetford's lost bell foundries, together with the new square it will provide a fitting setting for the historic buildings which will surround it.'
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The clock tower project will consist of a seven-metre-high timber arched frame with modern bronze tower bells, lighting and hedging, inspired by etchings of the former St Giles church.
In February, more than 500 people attended a public consultation where they were able to speak to those involved in the scheme and give their opinions on the initial concept and design of the square.
Thetford town manager Susan Glossop said: 'We were very encouraged by the number of people who attended the public consultation.
'This is a very exciting opportunity for us to move Thetford forward by improving a key area of the town and the work forms part of a much wider strategy to develop and enhance our town centre.'
The project is part of wider plans to regenerate the town centre by moving the bus station and transforming its existing site.