Work gets under way on £1m scheme to repair and rejuvenate Beccles Quay
- Credit: Archant
The first phase of a £1m scheme to improve and promote Beccles Quay has got under way.
Work has started on replacing the damaged and decaying footpaths around the river bank to make the area safer for visitors.
The work is being carried out over the next few months, with £30,000 set aside for the scheme by Waveney District Council.
District councillor Graham Catchpole, who has been appointed by new leader Mark Bee as cabinet member for operational partnerships, is leading the project.
He said: 'I have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes and we have now got the money available to get started.
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'Work has started on the pathways which surround the quay which were decayed and damaged, and they are being dug up and replaced with steel reinforced concrete. That is going to give us a really good, hard surface to walk on.
'The next stage is to find the money to sort out the drainage issues on the south side where it floods.
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'It is going to be a big project which will cost between £800,000 and £1.2m.'
Plans to repair and rejuvenate the quay were unveiled back in 2015, when it was announced a partnership had been formed between the district council and Beccles Town Council, which Mr Catchpole is also part of.
Mr Catchpole said: '£30,000 to sort out the immediate issues is not a great deal of money and it is going to make it much safer for people walking along the quay.
'Mark and I both come from Beccles and we really want this sorted. It is a big move forward for the town.'
Mr Catchpole said there are still some issues surrounding the ownership of the quay which need to be resolved. He said a few confidential meetings were due to take place in the next few weeks, before more work could be announced.
'It is the start of a project which will secure the quay for decades and it's a chance to look at what we can do with the area,' he said.
'There will be lots of issues and questions that come up as we progress and we will need the people of Beccles to have their say.'
In his new role as Waveney District Council cabinet member for operational partnerships, Mr Catchpole will also be responsible for working with Waveney Norse and Sentinel.
He replaces Stephen Ardley who had held most of this portfolio before, and is now deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for merger and Communities.
Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee said: 'I am delighted that Graham has taken on this role, and I know he will be very energetic in making our partnerships work best for our customers. I have asked Graham to look at the future of Beccles Quay. I have taken this item off the cabinet agenda to allow us more time to look at future options before we make a decision, and most importantly talk to Beccles Town Council. I am glad to see that some remedial repairs are taking place ahead of the summer season.'