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Small businesses encouraged to bid for concession pitches in North Norfolk

Start-up businesses and small traders are being given the chance to secure their own pitches across North Norfolk.

It follows a decision by North Norfolk District Council to increase the number of concession pitches across the area. It will increase consumer choice, benefit taxpayers and open up more opportunities for local businesses.

Judy Oliver, portfolio holder for asset commercialisation, said: “Our concession locations have always been popular and many businesses have come back year after year because of the opportunities the sites provide.

“Following a review of our portfolio, we have now identified some further possible sites for concessions. This will provide opportunities for more local businesses and a wider choice of facilities for locals and visitors, as well as providing further revenue for the council and the district.”

The sites are in places such as busy car parks and seaside promenades and the concessions typically include hot food and ice-cream vans, but NNDC is hoping to expand the offerings and will consider any business that wants to bid for a pitch.

North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick said: “Taking on a concession pitch can be a great way for start-up businesses to test the market and hone their skills before looking for bigger premises. The rents are more affordable than on fixed premises and running costs are lower.”

Two supporters of the concessions scheme are Nathan and Adele Boon (pictured), who signed a three-year deal last season on a pitch in Overstrand for their business, The Bucket List, which sells buckets of chips with homemade toppings.

Adele said: “It had been an idea we had wanted to pursue for a while but we needed the location to be just right. The concession at Overstrand gave us a very well-kept position overlooking the beautiful North Norfolk coast. Having the site has given us a fantastic concept and created the ability to grow our business fast.

“We promote the area and use it at the forefront of advertising through social media, and it has certainly worked. We couldn’t be happier with our pitch.”

North Norfolk’s concession businesses have traditionally operated between April and December but NNDC is looking to bring the 2018 start date forward to March, so that businesses can make the most of Easter.

To apply for a concession pitch, visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/concessions. Applications must be submitted by early January.

Final call for Norfolk beach lovers to join coastal clean up

The UK’s leading marine charity, says it hopes more people than ever before in Norfolk will take part in the Great British Beach Clean from September 15-18.

The event around the county’s coastline will help ensure some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK aren’t being taken for granted.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is running at least 11 beach cleans and surveys around Norfolk and so far just over 70 volunteers have signed up.

The charity says it’s really helpful if people register their interest online before the event to ensure organisers have enough kit to go round! You can register right up until the very last minute www.mcsuk.org/waitrose, and of course you can just turn up on the day.

This year, the Great British Beach Clean in England is being sponsored by Waitrose who are supporting MCS’ year round beach clean programme.

The MCS beach clean event takes place every third weekend in September as part of the charity’s year round Beachwatch programme. Volunteers who get involved in Norfolk will be joining an army of beach cleaners not only around the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, but all over the world as part of the global International Coastal Clean-up, which takes a snap shot of beach litter across the planet on a single weekend.

Lizzie Prior, MCS Beach and River Clean Project Officer, says volunteers are the lifeblood of the event and the data they collect is vital: “Last year an amazing 133 volunteers took part in the Great British Beach Clean on Norfolk’s beaches. We’d love to see even more people heading to the county’s beaches and helping clean up at the events that have been organised at:
Brancaster
Heacham: North of Jubilee Bridge
Titchwell Marsh
Cley Beach / Blakeney Point
Great Yarmouth Central
Holkham
Sheringham West
Old Hunstanton Beach
Cley Beach
Mundesley
New Hunstanton

Each event only takes a couple of hours and, alongside the clean; 100 metres of beach are surveyed. The form is straightforward to complete, and helps MCS to add to the local and UK litter data picture, as well as the global view. Each clean-up has an organiser so there’s plenty of advice on the day on how to fill in the simple data sheets. This information will be used by MCS to work with governments and industry in the charity’s ongoing work to stop litter getting on to our beaches in the first place.

To get involved in the Great British Beach Clean 2015 in Norfolk and be part of the most influential fight against marine litter in the UK visit www.mcsuk.org/waitrose You can also speak to the team on 01989 566017.

PICTURE: CHRIS TAYLOR PHOTO

Chance for walkers to glamp it up on the coast

Ginny Wilson-North couldn’t wish for a better office or commute to work.
And it’s all down to a new business she has started with husband Mark based on walking the Norfolk coast path.
The couple, from Colby, launched MarGins in December, a selection of walking and glamping holidays appealing to both dedicated trekkers and casual tourists looking for something a bit different.
Starting point for the holidays is Hunstanton, and the drive from their home village is just part of the job Ginny loves.
“There’s such a diversity in our coastline from the cliffs at Sheringham and Cromer to dunes and marshes,” she said.
Ginny has been walking various sections of the 84-miles of Norfolk coastline to add to the pack they give the walkers, making notes of signage, places of interest and places to eat.
Guests can choose from three holiday options – a three day, 38 mile walk from Cromer to Hopton-on-Sea; a four day, 46-miler from Hunstanton to Cromer; and the full 84 miles of the Norfolk Coast Path from Hunstanton to the Suffolk border, taking six days.
The glamping accommodation is set up each day on established campsites on the Norfolk Coast Path, with luggage transferred to the next destination each day.
The sturdy tents have comfy chairs and padded camp beds with soft, cosy duvets, plus, MarGins supplies a hamper of local Norfolk produce each day for breakfast.
Ginny said: “We’ve designed the routes to appeal to all levels of walker.“Ramblers and experienced trekkers can stick to the route or go further by checking out some of the many ‘off-piste’ paths. The less experienced can do as much or as little walking as they like – and even pop on the Coasthopper bus if they want a rest.
“The Norfolk coast is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in Britain. For anyone interested in wildlife there are world-renowned reserves all along the coast. It’s the perfect place for walking and glamping – especially when it’s relaxed and hassle-free.”
Add to that the fact that the trips are dog friendly and MarGins will supply everything you need – “except the dog”, said Ginny.
The couple decided to launch their holiday business after Ginny was made redundant from her job with the Red Cross. “I went from one kind of tent to another,” she said. “I was walking Hadrian’s Wall and had time to think about my future and what I wanted to do was something that I really enjoyed, and this is it.”
Their season runs from May to September, but their first guests took a B&B option so they could come this winter. They already have guests booked for the summer.
And the couple is hoping to branch out to offer family options and specialist breaks, including those for bird watchers.
Ginny added: “We have had some great feedback including from local people who want to walk the coast path but are not sure how to organise themselves. We do all that for them.”

For more information visit www.walkandglamp.co.uk. MarGins can be contacted direct by email, info@walkandglamp.co.uk or call 07787 534809.  You can also find them on Twitter (@MarGinsholidays) and Facebook (marginswalkingandglampingholidays).

Time to come clean at Cromer beach

A shout is going out for helping hands to clean Cromer Beach on Sunday, April 17.

The litter-pick has been organised by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and is part of their national series of clean-up events across the country.

Angie Fitch-Tillett, Cabinet Member for Coastal Management and Environmental Services said: “I would just like to encourage people to get involved and help keep north Norfolk’s beaches free of litter. Plastic bottle litter on UK beaches is up 43%, and animal autopsies on sperm whales beached on the German coast earlier this year showed their stomachs were full of plastic. Our litter is a threat to marine life and we must do our bit to try to reduce this.

“I’m delighted the district council has been able to support Surfers Against Sewage with litter grabbers and bags and I want to encourage as many people to come and make a difference to their local beach.”

The Cromer Beach Clean starts at 12.30pm, meeting outside the Lifeboat Café. All litter-picking equipment will be provided.

Last year more than 12,000 people litter-picked for the Big Spring Beach Clean across the UK, with a total of 634 cleans. If you would like to organise a clean at your local beach or for more information about the Big Spring Beach Clean click on http://www.sas.org.uk/news/beach-cleans/big-spring-beach-clean-2016/

cromer beach