King’s Lynn is set to receive £800,000 to help breathe new life into the high street, increase footfall and help it recover from the impact of the pandemic.

The town is one of seven  in the east earmarked to receive a grant from a £95m government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme, being delivered by Historic England.

Its aim is to unlock the potential of historic high streets and help to give them a new lease of life.

West Norfolk Council will work with Historic England to develop and deliver schemes which could see disused and dilapidated buildings transformed and restored into new homes, shops, work places and community spaces.

A spokesman for Historic England said “historic buildings on our high streets give great character to local towns”.

Tony, Calladine, regional director at Historic England in the East, said: “Investing in heritage delivers good results for people – it means looking after and celebrating the places at the heart of our communities, and the buildings and public spaces which define their character. 

“This investment for our historic High Streets Heritage Action Zone scheme will unlock the potential of these precious high streets and help them thrive again.”

Much of Lynn town centre  is a conservation area with more than 200 listed buildings, two market places and a heritage as a Hanseatic port town.

In announcing the grant, a Historic England spokesman said: “The High Street Heritage Action Zone aims to create a unique destination heritage high street, bringing back into use vacant buildings and encouraging positive investment in the wider area. 

“A greater understanding of and pride in local heritage will change perceptions of this area of King’s Lynn.”