The Shambles in Swaffham could get ‘tidy-up’ after town scoops Government cash in funding boost

Jill Skinner, mayor, and Richard Bishop, town clerk, at Swaffham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Jill Skinner, mayor, and Richard Bishop, town clerk, at Swaffham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Swaffham is one of 69 historic English shopping centres to benefit from the government's £95m regeneration fund.

Four Norfolk towns will receive money, with projects aimed at turning disused buildings into shops, houses and community centres.

The East of England was awarded £7m in the announcement and the money from the High Streets' Heritage Action Zone scheme must be spent on heritage-based projects including town centre improvements and buildings.

Swaffham Mayor Jill Skinner said: "We don't know how much money we are getting yet. We've just had the Butter Cross done, which is unfortunate.

"We are looking at what we need to have done, but there's nothing that shouts out at me at present.

"Obviously, there are a lot of things that the town needs including facilities. It will depend on the criteria of what the money can be spent on.

"We've got the Shambles area in Swaffham, and that needs a tidy-up. There might be some projects connected with that."

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Swaffham's Veronica Hutchby said: "This is very exciting news. I expect because this is heritage money it will be put into renovating a historic building or improving its condition so it can be used in the modern economy."

Ms Hutchby has a vested interest in preserving the heritage of the town as she sits on the board of trustees for Swaffham Heritage.

She continued: "We've had two lots of people coming into the museum today and saying they didn't realise what a lovely town it was, it's nice to be recognised for that.

"Speaking as someone who lives and works here I'd love to see more entrepreneurs coming to the area, as well as some more niche and independent shops."

The news was announced by culture secretary Nicky Morgan, who said: "This £95m will help breathe new life into high streets all over England, benefiting businesses, supporting our much-loved buildings and helping to make our communities more attractive places to live, work and visit."

The other towns to benefit in the county are North Walsham, King's Lynn and Great Yarmouth.