Cash from out of town superstores for improvements to King’s Lynn bus station needs to be spent.

A progress report on work to the ‘transport interchange’ project says the  £1m of section 106 money from Tesco and Sainsbury’s has to be utilised before 2017/18 or risk being reclaimed by the companies.

“There is a desire to complete the planned improvements in 2015 to realise the benefits and enhance the attractiveness of this area of town sooner rather than later,” says a report to go before the regeneration, environment and community panel on Wednesday.

Footfall in Lynn town centre has dropped by ten per cent to 7,616,700 since 2010, the report says, and the health of the town centre would be enhanced with better ‘gateways.’

“The pedestrian route between the train station and bus station is of poor quality with limited way-finding and information,” the report says.

A bus passenger survey conducted last year saw 47.5 per cent of respondents wanting improvements to waiting areas and shelters.

A four-point plan is due to be carried-out with the first one enhancing pedestrian links from the bus station to the train station.

Refurbishment of the bus station, layout changes and new canopies are in the second package.

Refurbishing the toilets, improving the information office and signage are all included in the final two packages.

Public consultation is proposed for June and once the final concept of the design is agreed work is anticipated to start in October.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s at Lynn’s Hardwick branches have contributed £1m, Tesco at Gaywood £25,000 and a total of £200,000 from Norfolk County Council completes the budget.

“The purpose of the funding is to mitigate the impact of the out-of-town retail development on Lynn town centre,” says the report.