MP optimistic despite town's £800,000 funding blow
A Norfolk MP says Fakenham's unsuccessful bid for £800,000 in funding need not be "the end of the line".
Jerome Mayhew, MP for Broadland, admitted he was "really disappointed" after the town missed out on money from the government's Community Renewal Fund.
It would have gone towards a number of projects, including potential investment in leisure facilities such as a new swimming pool or lido, and improved walking and cycling infrastructure.
A total of 14 Norfolk projects were successful in their applications, receiving £6.5m between them.
Despite his sadness at the setback for Fakenham, Mr Mayhew - who supported the bid by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) - said future projects should be approached with renewed vigour.
“I am really disappointed that the bid from NNDC failed," he added.
"Increased access to the Wensum, improvements to the town centre and further opportunities for sports next to the leisure centre at Trap Lane would be fantastic for Fakenham.
“I don’t think that this needs to be the end of the line.
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“We should see where the bid went wrong, improve the proposal, and then go again in the next round of funding that the government is making available to support towns and villages up and down the country.
"Norfolk County Council was very successful bidding on for projects around the county, so there may well be lessons to be learned from their approach."
News of the failed bid saw a row erupt earlier this week between opposing councillors at the Liberal-Democrat-controlled NNDC.
Christopher Cushing, Conservative district councillor for Fakenham's Lancaster North ward, called result was an "appalling failure".
His comments were, however, labelled as "surprising" by cabinet member Richard Kershaw, who claimed Mr Cushing - leader of the opposition - was part of the team behind the bid.
He added that disappointment on this occasion did not prevent NNDC from applying for further funding, including during the next stage of the government’s Building Back Better scheme.
Fakenham's bid also included possible investment in river management and drainage.
In October, Mr Mayhew asked in the House of Commons how Norfolk towns such as Fakenham, Acle and Aylsham will benefit from 'levelling up'.