Historic town set to receive £25m investment boost

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A historic town is set to get £25m to revitalise a town centre, boost the local economy and create jobs.

King’s Lynn is one of 26 towns in England to take a share of £610m as part of the government’s towns fund, it has been announced today.  

West Norfolk Council has previously set out a wishlist of ideas for the money, including refurbishing the Guildhall of St George and Ouse waterfront, new homes in a “repurposed” town centre and turning vacant floors above shops into new homes. 

There are also plans for new walking and cycling routes, along with diverting London Road around the South Gate. 

A new business ‘incubation hub’ will be built on the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area Picture: Matthew Usher – Credit: Archant

The plan also includes support for youth skills and adult retraining to focus on the immediate and short-term impact of Covid-19. 

Larger units will house multiple businesses in a “market hall” style, along with new leisure uses. Flood defences will be improved as part of a waterfront regeneration which includes improvements to the Customs House and new exhibition space. 

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There are also plans to convert the former Argos store in the Vancouver Quarter into a community hub. 

West Norfolk learned in October that it was being given an initial instalment of £750,000 to set up a nursing school at the College of West Anglia in King’s Lynn. 

An artist’s impression of how the revitalised quayside might look Picture: BCKLWN – Credit: Archant

The Town Fund aims to create thousands of jobs, with many towns investing in opportunities to improve skills through new vocational training hubs that will support high skilled and higher paid jobs in the area for local people. 

In March, the government delayed its decision on the funding due to the upcoming local elections. 

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick MP said: “We are levelling up towns and cities across the country by building stronger and more resilient local economies, boosting prosperity and opportunity in our communities, and helping them build back better from the pandemic. 

The Guildhall of St George, which would be refurbished to become a heritage attraction under the town plan Picture: Matthew Usher – Credit: Archant

“Today I am announcing new town deals in 26 areas, backed by over £610 million investment from the Towns Fund.  

“This will support locally-led projects to transform disused buildings and public spaces, deliver new green transport and create new opportunities for people to develop new skills.  

“This is a boost for communities and businesses across England.”