Scheme to protect Swaffham's rich heritage reaches new milestone

Swaffham will be the focus of a photography competition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the town

Breckland Council is working in partnership with Historic England to deliver the Swaffham High Street Heritage Action Zone - Credit: IAN BURT

A scheme aimed at protecting Swaffham’s rich heritage while planning for the town’s future has reached an exciting new milestone.

Breckland Council is working in partnership with Historic England to deliver the Swaffham High Street Heritage Action Zone.

It will see a range of projects rolled out to protect the historic high street and look at how it could be further enhanced for residents and visitors in the future.

Swaffham sign has been restored and put back in the Market Place. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A scheme aimed at protecting Swaffham’s rich heritage while planning for the town’s future has reached an exciting new milestone - Credit: Matthew Usher

Originally announced in 2019, the programme has thus far seen Historic England agree to invest £380,000 in Swaffham, with a further £200,000 ring-fenced by Breckland Council.

While the coronavirus pandemic slowed progress, a number of expert teams have now been signed up to take forward various independent projects. 

Paul Claussen, Breckland Council’s cabinet member for economic development and growth, said: "Swaffham is a town with a rich history.

"I’m delighted that we’re now able to make real progress in protecting that heritage while looking ahead to the future."

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Upcoming projects include working with the owners of some of Swaffham's most historic buildings to help repair shop fronts and traditional features.

Moreover, local people will be invited to share their thoughts on what modern amenities might best complement the market town.

Work will be delivered by firms including Kings & Dunne Architects, Urban Symbiotics and Purcell Architecture Limited, with each focusing on a different element of the programme.

Swaffham Market Cross and Market Place.

Swaffham town centre - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2011

Tony Calladine, regional director for Historic England in the East, added: "It’s fantastic to see the launch of the Swaffham High Street Heritage Action Zone.

"I’m looking forward to seeing how local and business communities come together to work on these projects to reinvigorate the historic town centre, and how the restoration of characterful properties and improved pedestrian access will reconnect people with the historic marketplace."

Over the coming weeks, residents will be invited to get involved in the project by sharing their views on the town, while building owners will have an opportunity to work with the project team to look at ways their historic buildings can be protected.

To find out more, visit breckland.gov.uk/article/17698/Heritage-Action-Zone-in-Swaffham or historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/heritage-action-zones/swaffham/.

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