Last week saw important announcements affecting our town centre that means we can look forward to a brighter future for our historic market place and the surrounding areas.
Conservative councillors have announced ambitious plans to redevelop Market Place as part of their vision to regenerate the town centre. The council has already committed £2.5 million to this important project and I am supporting their request for the Government's Future High Streets Fund to provide the remainder to make this transformation a reality. I know the council has worked closely with market traders and listened to the views of residents so that the plans have broad support. You can find out how this will improve our town centre here.
There's more fantastic news from the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust who revealed they have been awarded nearly £1/2 million to restore, preserve and bring back-in-to-use several historic buildings in the town centre. The bulk of the money will go to renovate a long-neglected 16th Century timber frame building on King Street. However, this new investment will allow other buildings to be restored including St John's Church and the North-West Tower.
Of course, recent news that department store owner Beales has gone into administration is of great concern, as the future of the cherished Palmers store remains uncertain. However, it's reassuring that their stores remain open and continue to trade. I've been in contact with senior executives at Beales to express my concerns and underline the importance of Palmers to Great Yarmouth. With changing shopping habits challenging retailers this underlines why it is so important to attract more investment to our town centre to help support local businesses.