11 things that have changed in Norwich since the last lockdown

Plenty has happened in Norwich since the last lockdown started.

Plenty has happened in Norwich since the last lockdown started. - Credit: Various

For those who spent weeks away from Norwich city centre during lockdown, you might spot some changes on your return.

From openings to closures and revamps to redesigns, there's been plenty going on while the world was in lockdown. Here are just a handful of the changes:

The new-look Tombland in Norwich as people enjoy being out and about as the Covid restrictions are e

People enjoy being out and about as the Covid restrictions are eased. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

  • Changes to Tombland

Work in the Tombland area of the city started last August and is due to finish this month. 

The multi-million pound changes, designed to improve the look of Tombland and improve access for pedestrians and cyclists, are now apparent, and on April 12 the area was the perfect space for al fresco dining.

Rainbow at Chantry Place, Norwich

The illuminated rainbow outside Chantry Place shopping centre. - Credit: Danielle Booden

  • Chantry Place's giant rainbow

If you visit Chantry Place anytime soon, you'll spot a large illuminated rainbow outside the shopping centre.

Standing at 2.4 metres high and 5.8 metres wide, it has been set up with a fundraising goal in mind - shoppers who take photos there can use a QR code to make a donation to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's Jenny Lind Children's Hospital.

Mark Woodcock and Beatriz Lopez-Ruiz with son Thiago inside Thiago's at No.34, which has just opened in Norwich. 

Mark Woodcock and Beatriz Lopez-Ruiz with son Thiago inside Thiago's at No.34, which has just opened in Norwich. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

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  • A new addition to Prince of Wales Road

A new café serving pastries, paninis and other snacks opened in Norwich's clubland area in March.

It was launched by couple Mark Woodcock and Beatriz Lopez-Ruiz, along with her brother José and sister-in-law Maria-Teresa Baiget-Marco, who said they had quickly started attracting regulars, passers-by and parents from nearby Charles Darwin Primary.

Tola Durowoju, co-owner of Duro Food, at the new African grocery and snack stall on Norwich Market

Tola Durowoju, co-owner of Duro Food, at the new African grocery and snack stall on Norwich Market. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2021

  • New face at Norwich market 

Nigerian-born Mufu and Tola Durowoju moved to Norwich from London three years ago and launched online business Duro Food last May, selling African groceries and snacks.

From fresh yams to plantain chips, they now have their own stall on Norwich Market, joining a vibrant range of traders.

The Castle Quarter Vaccination Centre in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden

The Castle Quarter Vaccination Centre in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

  • No food court - and a vaccination centre in its place

In January, the food court at Norwich's Castle Quarter was turned into Norfolk's first mass vaccination centre.

It has administered thousands of coronavirus vaccinations so far and is due to remain in place until it is no longer needed.

Maggie Christensen started delivering pastries on a cargo bike when she moved from Denmark to Norwich in 2017. 

Maggie Christensen started delivering pastries on a cargo bike when she moved from Denmark to Norwich in 2017. - Credit: Karl Roberts

  • A taste of Denmark in Norwich

Danish baker Maggie Christensen has now opened cafe Fraa Kost in St Augustine's Gate, in the former home of a Chinese restaurant, after becoming well-known in the city for her baked goods, which she used to deliver by cargo bike.

She is only a few days in but posted on social media to say it had been a busy start.

From left to right, Krysia Burns, George Colley, baby Matilda Colley, Natty Crothers and Abby Kidd, who will open Rabbit...

From left to right, Krysia Burns, George Colley, baby Matilda Colley, Natty Crothers and Abby Kidd, who will open Yard pasta and cocktails bar on Pottergate. - Credit: George Colley

  • Pasta and cocktails on their way

It's not yet open, but Brick Pizza co-founder George Colley, with friend and colleague Nathaniel Crothers, is set to open Yard pasta and cocktail bar this summer in Pottergate.

It was formerly the home of Rabbit coffee shop, and is planning to open in June.

Customers on EE can now access 5G in Norwich

Customers on EE can now access 5G in Norwich - Credit: Dan Wong Photography

  • You might have faster mobile internet

In April, it was announced that Norwich has joined the list of 160 towns and cities with access to 5G with EE.

It is the first place to have access to 5G in Norfolk with the network. Currently, Norwich has 5G coverage via the O2 network - however it mainly applies outdoors, with indoor signal recorded as limited.

Barriers at Debenhams in Norwich ahead of its closing down sale

Barriers at Debenhams in Norwich ahead of its closing down sale. Picture: Daniel Moxon - Credit: Archant

  • The bad news

There's been a reassuring amount of positive news coming out of Norwich in the form of reopenings and new businesses.

But, of course, some closures were inevitable in the current climate. Topshop, on Haymarket, is closed, Debehams, on Orford Plaice, is only reopening for its closing down sale and Game's Norwich store, outside Castle Quarter, was closed in February.

Last Brasserie, Norwich

Chris Cloke and Kelly Barrow enjoying lunch outside the Last. - Credit: Denise Bradley

  • More al fresco dining

You've already seen a taste of it on Tombland, but more restaurants and pubs are upping their outdoor seating to keep serving customers.

Restaurants outside Chantry Place have doubled their outdoor capacity in the last few weeks, restaurants including the Last, on St George's Street, are maximising their outdoor space and Arboretum, on St Benedict's Street, has just been given the go-ahead to hold events on the pavement outside its space.

It also extends to outdoor events - both Junkyard Market and Mysabar in Norwich are due to return this week.

One of the three large cranes towering over Norwich city at the moment, this one working on the refu

One of the three large cranes towering over Norwich city at the moment, this one working on the refurbishment of Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

  • Cranes over the city's skyline

While in many ways the world has slowed over the last few months, work on developments in Norwich has continued.

Ongoing projects include new student accommodation on Duke Street for the Norwich University of the Arts (NUA), the Gateway to Medieval England project at Norwich Castle and 200 homes at land on the former Jarrold Printworks site.

Construction work has slowed because of various restrictions due to the pandemic, but is ticking along as the face of the city changes.



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