Published: Monday, 10th May 2021
Businesses, residents and visitors are being invited to have their say on the future of Downham Market.
An initial three-week consultation has been launched today, to get some general views about Downham Market and also to gather some specific ideas about future uses of the historic Town Hall.
Opportunities Downham Market will be the route for consultation, engagement and communications around plans, investment and potential improvements for the town. Opportunities Downham Market hopes to encompass various funding programmes and schemes that could benefit the town. These include, but are not limited to, the Welcome Back Fund, the Community Renewal Fund/UK Prosperity Fund and the Levelling-up Fund.
Opportunities Downham Market will bring together various partners, including the town, borough and county councils, business representatives, health representatives, and young people.
Cllr Jenny Groom, Mayor of Downham Market, said: "I am delighted to say that we have been working in conjunction with the borough council and other partners to give the people and businesses of Downham Market a chance to have their say on the way Downham Market develops in the future, particularly in response to the impact of Covid-19.
"Today, we launch our first consultation with business residents and visitors to give everyone a chance to put their ideas forward."
To take part in the consultation visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/QRVSQLS. The survey closes at midnight on 28 May.
Cllr Groom continued "It has been so refreshing to work with the borough council and we hope to come up with some great initiatives and ideas that will not only attract funding into the area, but will benefit Downham Market and its economy."
A Downham Opportunities Partnership is being established, to review feedback from the consultation and to start to pull together plans for the future development of Downham Market as a place to live, work or visit and of course invest. The results from this survey will support the development of a strategic plan for Downham Market, to address and reverse the long-term impacts of Covid-19, particularly where they relate to the high street and town centre. A website is being developed to ensure ongoing engagement with anyone who wishes to be involved in shaping the future of the town.
The initial phase of consultation is being funded through the government's Welcome Back Fund.
Cllr Jenny Groom concluded, "We really want to hear from people, to see what they think of the town, what the positives are and where the areas for improvement might be. There are lots of opportunities to explore as we look for ways to encourage people back to the town centre, to capitalise on the opportunities presented by people who are now home-working rather than commuting, and of course to develop our tourism offer as more people are likely to be holidaying in this country for a while. We also have a fabulous, historic town hall, which is currently underused. We want to hear people's ideas for how that valuable asset can be put to better use. We need to have plans ready so that we can secure any funding that might be available."