A host of ambitious projects to revitalise King’s Lynn and boost the economy can now go ahead thanks to £25m government funding.
Lynn was named as one of the first 101 towns in England selected for the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund, aimed at creating jobs and driving economic growth, last year.
The Town Board submitted a Town Investment Plan in October outlining its vision and this week learned its bid had been allocated £25m, the maximum amount available.
It is hoped the funding can be used to renew the town centre, create new jobs and homes, regenerate the waterfront and create a new Guildhall complex, while increasing access to learning and skills and helping businesses to flourish, enabling Lynn to “build back better” from the pandemic.
Board chairman Graham Purkins, chief technical officer of Merxin, said members were delighted by the government announcement, made on Tuesday.
“The collaborative working between the Town Deal Board and borough council, in conjunction with valuable and constructive engagement with the local community, enabled us to submit a strong proposal through which we have secured the maximum possible amount of funding,” he said.
“This is a significant achievement, and I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and commitment that has made it possible.
“Last year we received a smaller amount through the Accelerated Towns Deal Funding which has enabled us to start improvements to our town centre and the initiation of a new School of Nursing in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the College of West Anglia. We are already making a difference.
“Receiving the Towns Fund money will now enable us to start the process of delivering the broader range of projects identified in our plan and help us all work towards a brighter and more prosperous future for King’s Lynn.”
The projects are split into four general themes – economic productivity through urban regeneration, planning and land use, skills and enterprise and infrastructure and connectivity and more detailed plans will now be prepared.
They could include making better use of the Outer Purfleet area with a floating restaurant and pop-up markets in the South Quay area, improving cycling and walking routes, addressing congestion and air quality problems and the creation of new cultural facilities.
Council leader Stuart Dark, the borough’s lead representative on the board, said: “This announcement is really great news for the town, as it brings significant external investment to a range of priority projects that combine to deliver major improvement.
“All the projects submitted in the bid were developed through consultation with the public and engagement with stakeholders and local businesses through the board we established as part of the required process.
“I am delighted central government has recognised the need for this funding in King’s Lynn and can see, through the strength of our bid and board, the clear benefit that can be realised here.
“We are awaiting the exact details of the next steps, but are so pleased the exciting work of bringing the projects to fruition with partners, in consultation with stakeholders and the wider community, can now begin in earnest.”
North West Norfolk MP James Wild added: “I’m delighted to have helped secure this major investment to boost skills, improve the town centre, promote our strong Shakespeare links and heritage, and support new and growing businesses.
“I now look forward to helping deliver these ambitious plans as part of the Towns Board and making Lynn an even better place to live, work, and visit.”
Announcing 83 Town Deals on Tuesday, communities secretary Robert Jenrick said: “This Deal is great news for King’s Lynn. It will create vibrant new spaces for culture and leisure, support businesses, create new jobs and bring new skills to the area.”
See www.visionkingslynn.co.uk for more information.