Fakenham and North Walsham miss out on £1.6m of funding

North Walsham Market Place.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

North Walsham and Fakenham have missed out on £1.6m of community funding. - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Projects aiming to deliver a lido and revamped walking and cycling facilities to two towns have been dealt blows after missing out on £1.6m of funding.

Fakenham and North Walsham had hoped to secure the funding for a number of community projects including a lido, walking and cycling infrastructure and key parts of the North Walsham West project.

Money was due to come from the government's £220m Community Renewal Fund, with 14 north Norfolk projects successful in their applications, receiving £6.5m in total.

But Fakenham's bid which proposed to commission feasibility studies and investment in walking and cycling infrastructure, leisure facilities such as a lido or swimming pool, river management and drainage, and North Walsham's bid for a number of studies to support the North Walsham West Urban Extension proposal, were rejected.

The bids were supported by the mayors of both towns and by local MPs Duncan Baker and Jerome Mayhew, with the council now preparing to work with them to evaluate feedback as to why the bids were unsuccessful.

Area adjacent to Cromer Road where part of the North Walsham West development would be based.

North Norfolk District Council has missed out on funding for a part of the North Walsham West project. - Credit: Neil Didsbury

North Norfolk District Council portfolio holder for sustainable growth, councillor Richard Kershaw, said: “We are concerned that many of the projects supported through the Community Renewal Fund in Norfolk will not deliver benefits or outcomes to north Norfolk in any visible or tangible sense.

"Most appear to be skills or workforce development-based; or unconnected and possibly duplicative projects with similar aims but not joined up around the net zero agenda.

The Fakenham sign found on Norwich Street in the town.

North Walsham and Fakenham have missed out on £1.6m of community funding. - Credit: Aaron McMillan

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“We will now need to discuss with local partners in Fakenham and North Walsham our collective capacity to take forward any elements of the proposed programmes in each town without government funding.  

"We will also be seeking conversations with the district’s two MPs expressing our disappointment that neither of our bids were successful and wishing to understand better if they have any insight as to how successful projects were chosen and why we fell short.

“It should be pointed out that this setback does not prevent us from applying for funding through the next stage of the government’s Building Back Better grants.”