04/07/22: Visions for the future of Attleborough and Thetford launched for public review

Proposals for the future of Attleborough and Thetford have been drawn up, outlining how the towns could be developed and enhanced in coming years.

The ideas are part of the ongoing Future Breckland project, which aims to revitalise Breckland's five market towns, build on their strengths and make improvements which support a bright and prosperous future.

Breckland Council commissioned plans for each town, which have been drafted by economic specialists Hatch and urban regeneration experts We Made That, following public engagement sessions earlier this year. Norfolk County Council and local town councils are backing the programme, with plans for each town - and the district as a whole - aiming to give local organisations a shared vision and objectives for delivering change.

Plans have previously been drawn up for Dereham, Swaffham and Watton. Now, it is Attleborough and Thetford's turn and residents are being invited to share their views on the proposals, which include both long-term goals for the next decade and shorter-term goals for the next one to three years.

Some of the short-term suggestions put forward in the plan for Attleborough include:

  • Improved market facility, free Wi-Fi around Queen's Square and expanded events calendar to include music concerns and summer fetes
  • Tree lining - connecting green spaces between old and new developments
  • Improved wayfinding throughout the town
  • Add formal crossings onto Queen's Road and review crossings in Town Centre to ensure they are safe for those with mobility issues
  • Add speeding control measures on Connaught Road
  • Provide more EV charging points in the town centre and by the train station
  • Promote Attleborough as a destination of choice in the Norwich-Cambridge Tech corridor
  • Explore expanding loading bays in the town centre to assist with traffic flow
  • Create a suite of programme and events for young people
  • Improved Scouts Hut at the Recreation Ground to increase the leisure offer for young people.

Thetford's short-term suggestions include:

  • Wayfinding improvements to help communicate the local tourist offering to people travelling on the A11, A134 and A1066
  • Heritage conservation - development of a conservation area appraisal and management plan to cover Thetford's heritage assets
  • Market place improvements - new pacing, lighting, seating, and planters.
  • Improvements to the war memorial. 
  • New events to activate new public spaces
  • New and secure cycle parking
  • Work with local artists to develop new murals to promote Thetford's heritage
  • Additional seating by the Riverside

Longer-term initiatives for Attleborough include:

·       Integrated Attleborough - improved pathways, road crossings and pocket parks.

·       Commercial Attleborough - Develop National Rail Buildings into office hub with 5G and superfast broadband. New commercial development between London Road/A11 and
        Breckland Lodge/Wellington Street.

·       Connected Attleborough - Cycling and walking links to integrate with key employment and services areas.

·       Engaged Attleborough - New 3G pitch at Attleborough Academy for community and student use. New youth hub as part of the wider development at the Old Brush factory site.
        Improve recreational sites to provide flood lights and training facilities and increased accessibility.

·       Supporting vocational and technical offer for 16-19-year-olds.

Longer-term initiatives for Thetford include:

·       Riverside Regeneration - improving public and cycling access, investment, and enhancement of existing green spaces, including Abbey Meadows

·       Gateway Thetford - creating a commercial hub around the railway station

·       Connecting Thetford via a series of travel interventions

·       Innovative Thetford - New learning hub and enhancements at Charles Burrell Centre

·       Brand Thetford - Developing new place branding and art murals

Cllr Paul Claussen, Breckland's Executive Member for Economic Development and Growth, said: "The vision laid out in these plans for Attleborough and Thetford are bold - but this is part of the great ambitions we have for the future of our district's towns. Future Breckland engagement sessions have been met with great enthusiasm by the public and local businesses, which was wonderful to see. I hope that these latest plans and vision for the future are also greeted with the same interest and energise the residents of Attleborough and Thetford to get involved with the Future Breckland project - and let us have their feedback."

Cllr Philip Leslie, Attleborough Town Council Mayor, said: "Thank you to the local residents who have already taken part in the consultation events, their valuable insights and contribution have informed the plan and identified a number of interventions, both in the short and longer term, that we hope to see taken forward. There are some exciting elements to the plan for Attleborough, and we hope residents will be keen to get involved and share their views."

Cllr Jane James, the Mayor of Thetford, said: "This new plan for our area, led by the people and businesses in the town, will help provide opportunities on so many different levels. The new vision will help drive tourism, improve our green spaces and leisure areas, support our residents to prosper and provide an attractive package for new businesses looking to relocate and attract a highly skilled workforce. I would ask every resident to get involved, review the vision laid out and submit your feedback."

Cllr Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council's Cabinet Member for Growing the Economy, said: "Attleborough and Thetford, like all five market towns involved in this project, are integral to Norfolk's unique character and its bright future. Our county's market towns all provide environments for people to work, live and thrive, and they attract visitors from across the country and indeed the world. These plans are key to ensuring these market towns remain one of our county's strengths and we're incredibly pleased to be working with Breckland and other partners to make these proposed improvements a reality."

Residents who would like to feedback on these draft plans can visit www.breckland.gov.uk/future-breckland

Last updated: 05/07/2022 11:39:38