Levelling Up bids submitted for pair of Norfolk towns

Cromer seafront and North Norfolk District Council leader Tim Adams

The bid for Levelling Up funding for Cromer (pictured) and Fakenham has been submitted. Inset is NNDC leader Tim Adams - Credit: Archant

Bids for funding which could provide much-needed regeneration in a pair of Norfolk towns have been submitted.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) has lodged its proposals for a cash injection from the government's £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund which, if successful, would see a number of improvements made in Fakenham and Cromer. 

Views of Fakenham town centre taken from the top of the Parish Church. Picture: Ian Burt

The bid for Levelling Up funding for Fakenham has been submitted - Credit: Archant

Plans for Fakenham are focused on a new indoor swimming pool and enhanced sports facilities for the town, while in Cromer there would be a revamp of attractions including the cliff-top gardens and North Lodge Park.

Tim Adams, leader of Liberal Democrat-controlled NNDC, shared his optimism for a positive outcome. 

"Staff have done a tremendous amount of work to pull this together and these are two very well thought-out bids," he said. 

Tim Adams (Liberal Democrats) is standing for Cromer division.

Tim Adams, leader of North Norfolk District Council - Credit: Supplied by Liberal Democrats

"There have been more than a few concerns given changes in the government and we didn't know whether the direction was going to change. 

"We are a priority area in terms of the Levelling Up Fund, so I would hope we have a really good chance of being successful."

Levelling Up is aimed at investing in infrastructure more equally across the UK, giving every community the "opportunity to flourish".

The sun shining on Cromer beach at 7.30am as crab fishermen brings in their catch. PHOTO: ANTONY KE

It is hoped Cromer will be successful in its bid for Levelling Up funding - Credit: Archant

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Funding will support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets.

Despite recent turmoil within government, the new Levelling Up secretary Greg Clark said last month that the process was still on track

The hope for Fakenham is to provide a 25-metre public swimming pool and a full-size 2G pitch for hockey and tennis with accompanying changing facilities. 

Fakenham town sign

Fakenham could be in line for cash from the Levelling Up Fund - Credit: Archant

Cromer's bid covers a number of smaller projects, including extensive resurfacing, replacement of the Marrams Bowling Club pavilion, new play equipment along the Happy Valley and restoration of the sunken gardens in Runton Road. 

Mr Adams added: "We have seen tremendous levels of favour, especially for the swimming pool in Fakenham.

"Because of the national Levelling Up agenda, there was some expectation for housing, jobs - things we couldn't deliver directly.

Fakenham Academy's pool will close after the last aquafit sessions on August 18 and August 20.

The old swimming pool at Fakenham Academy, which closed in 2014 - Credit: Archant

"People might say 'where is the housing?', because that is arguably the biggest pressure on the district, but we have to make the most of this opportunity."

The outcome of the bids is due in October.