North Norfolk District Council is thrilled to announce the appointment
of Influence, chartered landscape architects who will be undertaking the
townscaping element of the project along with expert partners.

The team aim to provide sustainable solutions to urban planning and have
extensive experience of working in conjunction with local authorities
and communities to deliver landscaping and public realm services,
including working on High Street Heritage Action Zones projects
elsewhere in the UK.

Shona Hatton, associate director at Influence, said: “High Street
Heritage Action Zones are such a key part of the future for our towns –
especially post the pandemic – and are often driven by a strong local
community interest. Revitalising and regenerating our high streets
whilst reinstating the heritage roots is critical to their success, now
and in the future.

“North Walsham is a vibrant market town but has been waiting for a long
time to bring forward a high street public realm project. Now that it’s
here, myself and the Influence team are honoured to have been selected
to work on this important project, and are pleased to be supporting
North Norfolk District Council’s in-house team.

“Our previous experience in delivering High Street Heritage Action Zones
has given us specialist knowledge and understanding of the challenges
and huge opportunities in our high streets -and we are using those
assets to re-imagine the physical and social environment in North
Walsham – to enable it to be a prosperous town where people want to
live, work and relax.”

Master planning and consultation will be led by HETA – a studio of
architects, designers and thinkers. Their focus is on people and how to
create better, more meaningful experiences for them. Having completed a
site visit the team will implement a programme of consultation and
community engagement to see how the people of North Walsham want to see
the space in the town centre used.

Other partners involved include Rees Bolter Architects as heritage
consultants, BSP for highways and transport consultancy and Gleeds Cost
Management, quantity surveyors.

This work is a vital part of the programme’s wider “placemaking”
objectives, inspiring people to re-imagine and re-engage with the town
centre as the heart of the community. It will focus on making the town
centre a destination which embraces its heritage and community, creating
a shared space people can enjoy, take pride in and encourages others to

The Council and partners will seek to hear what residents, businesses
and visitors want to see in North Walsham and foster a sense of
community that maximises shared value by making it easier to move around
the town centre and improve the appearance and quality of public spaces,
starting with work which will see the improvement of the Lokes and
alleyways that connect different areas within the town centre.

As part of this, the Council intends to purchase a piece of land
adjacent to Black Swan Loke, a long-standing derelict area on an
important pedestrian approach to the town centre, and is exploring
options to maximise the potential of this busy route.

Cllr Richard Kershaw, NNDC’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Growth,
commented: “We are very pleased to be working with Influence on this
project and have been impressed with work they have done in other market

“This will be an exciting, inclusive project to bring lasting
improvements to the fabric of North Walsham and to bring visitors to the
town for the benefit of local businesses.

“In addition to this, the Cultural Programme will soon get underway will
bring together various societies and groups in and around the town to
help celebrate the rich history of North Walsham.”

The Heritage Action Zone grant will also provide an opportunity to
review the options for the most suitable use of the Council’s New Road
site and the Listed buildings on it (known as The Cedars), and the role
it can play in the regeneration of North Walsham town centre. In the
short-term, essential repair work is set to begin soon.

The project is part of Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action
Zone scheme to renew and revive town centres in England, with match
funding from The Council and additional funding secured from the New
Anglia LEP’s “Getting Building Fund [2]”.

Over the next four years, the programme of work is designed to secure
lasting improvements for the town’s historic core and the communities
who use it. This will be achieved through a range of both physical
interventions, such as the placemaking work and Building Improvements
grants (opening soon), as well as community led programming to bring the
town’s rich history and stories to life.

About High Streets Heritage Action Zones

The High Streets Heritage Action Zones [3] is a £95 million
government-funded programme led by Historic England, designed to secure
lasting improvements and help breathe new life into our historic high
streets for the communities and businesses that use them. Historic
England is working with local people and partners to unlock the rich
heritage on these high streets, through repair and improvement works as
well as arts and cultural programmes, making them more attractive to
residents, businesses, tourists and investors.

About Historic England

We are Historic England the public body that helps people care for,
enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from
beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion
and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as
a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas
they represent and the people who live, work and play among them.
Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge
and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can
keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.