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£3.4m recommended for projects across Greater Norwich

Norfolk County Council, 1 December 2023 00:00

Published on behalf of the Greater Norwich Growth Board

The Greater Norwich Growth Board (GNGB) have recommended four new projects for approval that will give local people better access to sports and fitness facilities, open spaces and other services in the Greater Norwich area.

A total of £3.4m is being recommended across four projects, supporting both new work and allowing work already planned to be completed on community amenities and facilities. The funds were all collected by GNGB Members as developer contributions via the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to support local infrastructure, and the final decision of funding will come in the new year when each partner will make their decisions on the projects. The projects that have been shortlisted for approval are:

  • £400,000 to the Aylsham Gym and Fitness Hub, to deliver a 487 square meeting health and fitness facility on the Aylsham High School site.
  • Eaton Park in southwest Norwich, £333,000 to fund renovations and improvements, including:
    • Improved and accessible changing facilities for players and officials
    • Installation of green technologies in its central pavilion
  • Plumstead Road Library is to receive £195,000 to develop a 72 square meter extension, bringing to the library:
    • A new multi-use community space
    • Disabled facilities
    • A kitchen area
  • The remaining £2,500,000 is to go to Wymondham High Academy to complete the fourth phase of their development, including:
    • A new gymnasium
    • A Design and Technology block

The GNGB also reconfirmed their £850,000 funding commitment to support the delivery of Sloughbottom Park Regeneration project, which helped to lever in an additional £7.6m of funding from the governments Levelling Up Fund.

In addition, the GNGB are putting forward £650,000 in match funding for a new hub at The Nest, and supporting an application for £4.5m from the Public Works Loan Board towards the Long Stratton bypass. Cllr Kay Mason Billig, Chairman of The Greater Norwich Growth Board and Leader of Norfolk County Council said: "We know that people can be sceptical about new development in their area, and for anyone to welcome development it's vital that the new infrastructure and facilities that are promised during the proposal stage come about.

"That's why today's news that more than £3.4m is to be spent on community facilities in the Greater Norwich area is so welcome: these projects are being funded by recent development, and will provide spaces, services and amenities that will benefit local residents for many years to come. Congratulations to those projects who have been put forward, and we look forward to receiving final confirmation of the funding from each partner in the new year."

The decision to support these projects were made as part of the draft Joint Five Year Infrastructure Investment Plan for 2024-2029. This plan was drawn up by the members of the GNGB:

  • Norfolk County Council
  • Norwich City Council
  • South Norfolk District Council
  • Broadland District Council
  • New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership

The plan lays out how funds raised via the Community Infrastructure Levy in the area will be spent.

The funds were agreed as part of the Infrastructure Investment Plan at the meeting of the Greater Norwich Growth Board held on Thursday 30 November.

Read the full agenda for the Greater Norwich Growth Board meeting for 30 November 2023, including the full Joint Five Year Infrastructure Investment Plan.

Further information on new projects recommended for approval by the Greater Norwich Growth Board

Aylsham Gym & Fitness Hub - £400,000

This project will deliver a new 487 square meter community health and fitness facility on the Aylsham High School site, which includes a 40-station gym, multi-use fitness studio and changing facilities. This is the third stage of a programme of works, managed and delivered by Aylsham High School, to create the Aylsham Gym and Fitness Hub. These works are providing necessary new community sport and leisure facilities for Aylsham and the surrounding area.

Eaton Park - £333,000

This project will deliver a range of improvements to Eaton Park in the Southwest of Norwich. The improvements will include renovations to the changing rooms in the central pavilion to install 4 player changing rooms and 2 officials changing rooms as well as improving the efficiency of the building, improved park signage at all entrances, 10 cycle storage racks located at several locations throughout the park, installation of green technologies including:

  • Solar panels
  • Heat pump
  • Passive Infra-Red (PIR) system
  • Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting

The installation of cycle racks will help encourage active travel in and around the park.

Plumstead Road Library - £195,000

This project will deliver a 72 square meter extension to Plumstead Road Library, based in the east of Norwich. The extension will include an internal entrance, a multi-use space to accommodate 20 people, a kitchen area, and a disabled toilet. In addition to this, a disability access ramp will be installed to improve accessibility from the car park.

Developing this new space will allow for events and activities to be made available to a broader range of individuals and community groups than the current, open nature of the library allows, in a location where community facilities are limited.

Wymondham High Academy - £2,500,000

This final expansion of Wymondham High Academy will be the fourth phase of development to meet the pupil demand from the housing development in the town. This is expected to include a new gymnasium, Design and Technology block, including Food Technology and music space.

The Nest - match funding of £650,000

This project will deliver a multi-sport indoor community hub at The Nest in Horsford. The 22-acre site currently has a range of facilities including grass football pitches, a floodlit 3G pitch and a club house. This project will include the construction of a new hub, which forms phase 3 of the facility's development plans. The hub will include an 8-court sports hall, clip & climb climbing wall, a health, wellbeing and fitness room, multi-use room, classrooms, e-sports suite, café and social space, office space, a viewing balcony, accessible changing rooms, 4 individual changing rooms and toilets.
This match funding will evidence local support and help The Nest to lever in the additional £7,454,000 that is required to deliver the full project.

Long Stratton Bypass - £4,500,000 borrowing from the City Deal Loans Fund

The Long Stratton bypass is an approximately 4km long single carriageway highway improvement on the eastern side of Long Stratton. The scheme includes both non-motorised and vehicular overbridges to ensure connectivity between Long Stratton and outlying settlements to the east of the proposal. Intermediate roundabouts will serve as both access points back into Long Stratton and entry points to the proposed new development areas. This loan will forward fund the developer's contribution to the bypass, enabling delivery of the bypass to commence earlier than it otherwise would, unlocking the delivery of 1,800 new homes.

The loan will be repaid with funds from the Infrastructure Investment Fund (see below).

Sloughbottom Park Regeneration Project - 850,000 previously allocated in March 2023

Investment will deliver new, improved and joined-up community and sporting facilities, rehabilitated green spaces linking Sloughbottom Park and Sweetbriar Marshes, a continuous 49-hectare area of green space near Norwich's city centre in the deprived ward of Mile Cross and upgraded cycle paths to link Mile Cross residents to city centre employment. More specifically the project will deliver:

  • A new 3G football pitch which can be used year-round.
  • League-standard changing facilities, including an administration office.
  • Adapting the existing pavilion as a multi-purpose community facility.
  • Play Park upgraded with more inclusive playground equipment and improved surfacing.
  • Upgrading the Bicycle Motocross (BMX) track.
  • Upgraded modular storage facilities at the BMX track.
  • Car park, paths, signage and lighting will be upgraded to improve safety and accessibility.
  • Upgrade to the Dolphin Path which offers cycling and walking connections between the Mile Cross area and the city via National Cycle Route 1 (Marriott's Way).

About the Greater Norwich Growth Board

The Greater Norwich Growth Board is a partnership between Norfolk County Council, Norwich City Council, South Norfolk District Council, Broadland District Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. They together to accelerate the delivery of infrastructure within the wider Greater Norwich area by working across individual administrative boundaries.

Income is received from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and is pooled within the Infrastructure Investment Fund (IIF). Since 2014 approximately £38m of IIF funding and £54.5m of CIL supported borrowing has helped lever in at least an additional £286m of match funding to deliver infrastructure projects across the Greater Norwich area. The board and partnership are recognized nationally for their work and are seen as an exemplar model of working by the Planning Advisory Service (PAS). In 2020 the growth board won the partnership working category at the 2020 national Planning Awards.

Visit the Greater Norwich Growth Board website. 

Last modified: 14 May 2024 13:19