23/02/2023: Norfolk Loch receives investment boost to attract new visitors
Watton's stunning Loch Neaton freshwater lake is to receive £30,000 investment from Breckland Council to enhance the area for residents and attract visitors to the area.
The Loch Neaton Management Committee has been allocated the money from the district council's Market Town Initiative scheme and will spend it on completing an all-weather pathway to improve accessibility, allowing visitors to enjoy this unique place of natural of natural beauty.
The new boardwalk pathway is part of several projects elevated for grant consideration after Breckland Council conducted a district wide consultation for its Future Breckland programme in 2022. The Future Breckland consultation involved over 20,000 engagements from residents, businesses and key stakeholders and explored ways to develop a 10-year plan for Attleborough, Dereham, Swaffham, Thetford and Watton. The project has now identified significant and transformational projects that will benefit residents across the whole district, support local businesses, whilst developing new jobs and training opportunities in Breckland.
Loch Neaton was created after earth was excavated in 1875 to create a mile long embankment for the extension of a local railway line. The Victorians saw the potential of creating a leisure park in the area, and filled the large, excavated hole with water to create a lake for swimming, boating and fishing. In honour of the railway labourers that created the excavation, who were mainly from Scotland, the lake was called Loch Neaton. The site is now used by local walkers, anglers, and regularly hosts a Parkrun nearby.
Cllr Paul Claussen, Executive Member for Executive Member for Economic Development and Growth from Breckland Council commented: "This project grant from our Market Town Initiative programme helps delivers on our Future Breckland Town Delivery objectives for Watton. This new boardwalk pathway, which will complete a circular walk around the beautiful Loch, will help increase accessibility and bring in new visitors to the Loch, which is a wonderful, free community asset for everyone to enjoy."
Phil Kibler from Loch Neaton Management Committee commented: " The trustees have long wanted to build this new boardwalk, enabling visitors with poor mobility to be able to enjoy the views using the upper pathway, and without this funding we would never have been able to achieve our aim. We really appreciate the support of the Market Town Initiative team in helping us make this a reality".
Last updated: 23/02/2023 11:48:03