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Sun shines on Antiques Roadshow at Cromer

Thousands of people came to a sunny Cromer today to take part in the BBC Antiques Roadshow visit.

The show team are filming all day today on the pier and prom, with queues forming from early this morning and snaking back from the pier forecourt along the east prom.

Fiona Bruce was a major draw as she circulated around the site, spending time filming but also engaging directly with the crowds.

North Norfolk District Council staff have been acting as stewards for the event, wearing the iconic AR boaters and sashes.

The filming is due to result in two episodes of the popular Sunday evening BBC One show, which will air in the coming months.

Applications open for Community Transport Fund

North Norfolk District Council’s Community Transport Fund is open for applications and the council will host workshop for organisations interested in applying.

The scheme is designed to support community transport schemes across the district that help vulnerable, disadvantaged and isolated residents of all ages access the services and facilities they need.

The types of project the fund is likely to support include Good Neighbours, Dial-a-Ride, MediRide, and work and study schemes.

Any voluntary organisation that currently provides or wishes to set up a community transport service in North Norfolk is encouraged to apply to the council for a grant.

Council leader John Lee said: “At a time when many authorities are cutting back on community projects, I’m absolutely delighted that because of the sound monetary policies of this council, we are able to provide these funds to assist some of our most vulnerable residents.”

A workshop for organisations interested in applying for a grant will be held at 10am on Thursday, June 7, at the council’s HQ in Holt Road, Cromer. The workshop will outline the application process and, after any grant is awarded, what is required in terms of monitoring, data collection, publicity and promotion.

Applications to the Community Transport Fund can be submitted at any time, and decisions on applications will be made in March, July and November. To be considered this July, applications need to be submitted by June 29.

For more information or to apply for a grant, visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk and search for “community transport fund”.

To discuss a potential application or to book a place on the workshop, call the Communities Team on 01263 516173 or 01263 516248.

Volunteers and users of North Norfolk Community Bus

Big Society Fund £66,000 latest handouts

North Norfolk District Council’s Big Society Fund has given away another £66,000 to a range of community projects.

The latest handout means that since the scheme started in 2013, it has  distributed more than £1.6m to 213 projects.

Improvements to village halls and sports clubs, and equipment for 10 new first-responder volunteers, will be made possible thanks to the latest round of grants to:

  • North Walsham Play (£10,502.39) – to purchase and install play equipment, including a Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant wheelchair-accessible basket swing and roundabout
  • North Walsham Rugby Football Club (£10,000) – towards installing a lift to the first floor of the clubhouse, which will enable it to become a DDA-compliant facility
  • Aldborough Gardening Club (£2,500) – to develop a community allotment garden with a new wildlife footpath and a footbridge between Aldborough Surgery car park and the Community Garden

 

  • Kettlestone Village Hall (£4,318) – to remove asbestos from the roof and replace it with a new composite roof
  • Ludham Parish Council (£10,000) – to purchase and install play equipment
  • Stalham Town Hall (£9,000) – to repoint the front and side wall of the Town Hall in line with conservation regulations
  • St Mary’s Bowls Club, Stalham (£7,500) – to build a second clubhouse to provide changing facilities for 10+ people and install a second toilet
  • Stiffkey Social Services Committee (£914.40) – to purchase wheeled cricket practice nets
  • Suffield Village Hall (£1,652) – to purchase padded stackable chairs, blackout blinds and a table-tennis table
  • Stalham & Smallburgh First Responders (£10,000) – to purchase and equip 10 new first-responder volunteers with two-way radios, pulse oximeters, automatic defibrillators and other lifesaving equipment.

John Lee, NNDC leader and chairman of the Big Society Fund panel, said: “The fund continues to help a wide range of communities across north Norfolk improve their facilities, and we are delighted to be able to announce these latest grants.

“I would encourage other groups from across our towns and villages to consider applying for future grants.”

He added: “The team that looks after BSF applications can help with pre-application advice and guidance.”

Complete applications to be submitted to the June panel need to be received by May 14.For more information about the application process, visit www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/tasks/big-society-fund/big-society-fund-details or contact the BSF team on 01263 516173 or 01263 516248.

North Walsham Play committee members with comedian/ventriloquist Steve Hewlett (centre) after a fundraiser. The group has been awarded £10,500 by the Big Society Fund

Have a say on new Sheringham leisure complex

North Norfolk District Council is inviting members of the public to an event to learn more about its plans to build a multi-million pound, state-of-the-art leisure facility in Sheringham.

The council’s cabinet agreed £10.7m of funding for the new leisure and fitness centre to replace the existing facility, Splash, in December 2017.

As part of the design process, the council is keen to share early proposals of the facility with the local community. The event will take place on Thursday, March 22, from 1-8pm at Splash in Sheringham. Members of the public will have the opportunity to learn more about the proposed facilities, view artist impressions of the current proposals and comment on the design concept, site layout and the overall impact of the proposed project.

Splash at Sheringham was opened in May 1988. A condition survey conducted in 2017 highlighted an urgent need to invest in a new facility to ensure access to leisure services is secured for the future.

North Norfolk District Council has appointed Saunders Boston Architects and a full design team to develop the new facility who will be on hand at the public event. Together with staff from North Norfolk District Council they will be answer questions in an informal environment and prior to the submission of a planning application for the proposed development.

Council leader John Lee said: “The provision of a multi-million pound, state-of-the-art leisure facility supports North Norfolk District Council’s commitment to improving the health and well-being of its residents and we are looking forward to getting the development under way. Before we do, it is important that we consult with those who will benefit from the facility to ensure we get it right.”

Becky Palmer, cabinet member for leisure services said: “This event is an opportunity for local people to come and have their say on an exciting new development that will ensure the provision of leisure facilities is secured for the future.”

The Splash leisure pool and fitness centre.
Picture: Chris Taylor Photo

BBC’s Antiques Roadshow coming to Cromer

BBC One’s Antiques Roadshow – regularly watched by six million people on Sunday evenings – will be filmed on Cromer Pier and promenade in May.

It will be the first time ever the show has been filmed on a pier.  Antiques Roadshow, one of BBC One’s most popular programmes, attracts an average of 3,000 to 4,000 visitors, spread through a full day.

The event, on May 24, will boost local business, increase footfall in the town in the week before half term and put the North Norfolk District Council-owned Cromer Pier on the international television stage.

A day’s filming creates two shows for broadcast a few months after shooting. The show tours the country, visiting iconic houses, parks and gardens.

The council is spending £275,000 in 2018 to improve the pier facilities and a further £150,000 on annual maintenance surveys for the next five years.

Council leader Tom FitzPatrick said: “The wonderful asset that is North Norfolk District Council’s Cromer Pier will be on show to the world through the screens of one of the BBC’s leading television programmes.

“We look forward to hosting an exceptional event in May and seeing the finished product on our television screens later in the year.”

Maggie Prior, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “It will be most interesting to see what local treasures are brought along and how many may be linked to our coastal or seaside history. What a treat this will be for the residents of North Norfolk!”

Rory Holburn, director and partner at Openwide, which recently won a new 10-year management contract to run Cromer Pier, said: “Openwide are thrilled to be part of the team hosting The Antiques Roadshow in a joint celebration of the best of our heritage.”

Robert Murphy, series producer of Antiques Roadshow, said: “It’s the first time the Roadshow has been to a pier and we’re looking forward to entertaining our visitors by the seaside and along the promenade. It promises to be an entertaining day out at the start of the summer and we’re looking forward to seeing cherished objects and hearing personal stories – make a day of it!”


 

REVIEW: Cromer Christmas Show

The eagerly-awaited Cromer Christmas Show had its opening night on Saturday, November 25.

The weather was wild and windy but the theatre was bright, sparkling and magical inside. The atmosphere was expectant and electric as the audience waited for the curtains to go up and the show begin.

And we weren’t disappointed. Compere Olly Day is a very funny and much-loved entertainer and he started the show as though he was greeting old friends and that’s the charm of the end-of-the-pier show.

On the bill with Olly is Leo Shavers, a versatile musician who gets a tune out of a washing machine pipe among other strange musical objects. His playing of the bagpipes had the audience clapping and stamping their feet.

Emily Yarrow made a welcome return with a voice which held the audience spellbound. Also back is talented vocalist Rob McVeigh. His singing of the two numbers from Joseph was breathtaking. The young dancers from the Marlene School of Dance and the Youth Choir made a very charming contribution to the show.

The scenery, costumes, lighting, music and the dancers all add to the sparkle and this show really stands out as the best so far with a superb and magical backdrop. The scene changes were subtle and skilful lighting changed the atmosphere in a moment.

This is a unique show which we in Norfolk are lucky to have on our doorstep and thank you to North Norfolk District Council and Openwide for making it possible.

Kevin and Sandra Stone

PICTURES: DAVE (HUBBA) ROBERTS

 

Multi-million pound investment in sport for North Norfolk

A £12.6 million investment in state-of-the-art sporting facilities in North Norfolk will go before councillors next week.

The multi-million pound investment would see a £10 million new leisure centre with a swimming pool at the Splash site in Sheringham and a £2.6 million indoor tennis centre with gym at a new North Norfolk Community Sports Hub in Cromer, with satellite tennis facilities across the district at Fakenham, Wells and North Walsham.

The proposals will be considered at the council’s overview and scrutiny meeting next Wednesday. The reports will then go to Cabinet on December 4. If the proposals are supported they will go to full council on December 19 for the funding to be agreed.

Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: “We know that keeping fit and active is important for residents. These ambitious plans would see a £12.6 million investment in sport and active leisure; that’s a wise investment for the Council as well as good news for the community who will benefit from better sports facilities.”

The North Norfolk Community Sports Hub would be created in partnership with Cromer Academy and part-grant funded by the Lawn Tennis association (LTA) and should be built by mid-2019 if councillors approve the proposals.

The new facility will include:

  • Three indoor tennis courts
  • Changing rooms
  • Toilets
  • Reception area
  • New bar/lounge and viewing gallery
  • 20 station-gym with an area for free weights and fitness
  • Studio space for fitness classes

In addition, a grant from the Lawn Tennis Association will provide for improved tennis facilities across the district, to drive up participation.

Building costs are estimated to be £2.6m for a ‘framed fabric’ indoor tennis facility or nearly £4 million for a traditional built facility.

Nick Amis, chairman of Cromer Lawn Tennis and Squash Association, said: “It has always been my aim to increase the sporting facilities at our club and we have been fortunate to have received support for very many years from NNDC in various forms. This project will enable us to increase our already well established coaching programme for 140+ juniors. We will be able to accommodate all ages and abilities in the new facility, bringing in other local clubs to use the new indoor courts and keeping fitness levels up, which is a key part of the NNDC plan for healthy living.”

Cromer Academy principal Dr Geoff Baker said: “These are fantastic and creative proposals that will make a lasting difference both to our pupils and the wider community.

“Sport is already a really important part of life at Cromer Academy and this investment will give our young people even more opportunities to take part both as individual players and in teams, and develop key social and leadership skills.”

The feasibility study for the replacement of the Splash Leisure and Fitness Centre in Sheringham considered three options: refurbishment of the existing site; a new build and a new build plus a health spa facility.  The new build option was by far the best value and will be taken forward if the proposal is approved by councillors.

It is recommending that a new leisure centre with a swimming pool is built on the site, partly funded by the sale of land for a hotel development.

The new build option, without the health spa, would see:

  • A £10 million investment in a new leisure and fitness centre
  • A 25m six lane pool
  • A learner pool
  • A splash pad/ fun water
  • A 50 station gym health and fitness suite
  • One large dividable studio
  • A spin studio
  • Two treatment rooms
  • A café

The study estimates that the new leisure centre will take around two years to complete and be open to the public from October 2020. Splash will continue to be open as usual to customers and members while future investment plans are considered by the authority.

PICTURE: CHRIS TAYLOR PHOTO

Hotel may help pay for new Sheringham Splash

North Norfolk District Council has today, October 25, announced that a multi-million pound investment in council leisure facilities at Sheringham could be on its way, partly paid for by a new hotel.

Part of the land around Splash will be made available this week for a hotel development on the site.

The potential sale of the site would help to pay for an improved leisure centre at Splash, which is now almost 30 years old.

Marketing part of the three acre site will be carried out by commercial property experts, Pygott and Crone, on behalf of the site owners, North Norfolk District Council, with a range of options available for the exact positioning of the hotel on the site. Any funds from a hotel will be directly used to part fund the new leisure centre.

A feasibility study on the future leisure centre – either a refurbishment or a new build – is due to go to North Norfolk District Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the 8th November.

The study was commissioned over the summer, following the Council’s Cabinet decision in June setting out the Council’s proposed options for new sports facilities.

Splash will continue to be open as usual to customers and members while future investment plans are considered by the authority.

Councillor Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “This is an imaginative proposal and one that would see the local authority invest in future sporting facilities and build the area’s reputation as a centre of sporting excellence.

Councillor Judy Oliver, cabinet member for asset commercialisation and a Sheringham (South) ward member said: “This is at an early stage and it shows the potential of the scheme to generate improved facilities for local people while safeguarding facilities for our ever increasing number of visitors. We are committed to keeping all the current leisure facilities – the leisure centre and skate park – on the site.”

Councillor Maggie Prior, cabinet member for health and wellbeing added: “Keeping fit and active is vital and we know that funding new sporting centres is often beyond the resources of local authorities. By taking this approach we will be able to see whether the new sporting centre could be partly paid for by a hotel in Sheringham. It’s a clear opportunity to improve facilities for all.”

Councillor Brian Hannah, member for Sheringham North, said: “I’m very pleased to support the continuation of sports facilities on this site, sport and fitness is of huge importance to all ages in this community.”

Key facts:

  • 168,000 customers visited Splash last year (2016)
  • Splash was opened in May 1988 by HRH Diana, Princess of Wales
  • It currently offers a gym with 28 stations, 2 dance studios, 1 badminton court plus a leisure pool

The council’s 2015 Indoor Leisure Facilities Strategy recommended that the Sheringham facility was protected – either by a new facility or modernisation.

The proposal has been drawn up to guarantee the ongoing provision of the Sheringham Skate Park and Sheringham Sporting Association’s football and cricket facilities on the current and adjacent sites.

Following consideration of the report by Overview and Scrutiny, it is likely that the council’s cabinet will consider a full business case for the proposal at its meeting on the  December 4 2017 and if necessary, any Ccouncil budget decision will then go to the  December 19 Full Council meeting.

In addition, the council is about to test the market for a new leisure and pool operator to take on the Council’s Leisure Contract which is due for renewal on  March 31 2019.

The current contract covers Fakenham Sports and Fitness, Splash Leisure and Fitness in Sheringham and Victory Swim and Fitness Centre in North Walsham and the procurement process will run at the same time as any improvements to the Sheringham site.

Leisure facts:

  • All three leisure centres are highly successful with 462,000 visits in 2016/17
  • People for Places runs the current Council’s Leisure Contract