Thetford welcomes ‘Towns Fund Tsar’

Senior representatives from Breckland Council recently welcomed the Central Government’s ‘Town Funds Tsar’ to Thetford, to show how the town was preparing to capitalise on a transformative £20m investment.

Earlier this year, as part of the national budget, it was announced that Thetford is in-line to receive £20 million from the national Long Term Plans for Towns Fund. The district council is the accountable body for the central government funding so Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Leader of Breckland Council, and Maxine O’Mahony, Breckland Council’s Chief Executive, took Adam Hawksbee and his team from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to tour the town and discuss the new Thetford independent board which will oversee how the funding will be used.

The visit on 17 May included a tour of Thetford, showcasing the town’s unique assets such as its beautiful river and rich historical heritage, its strong position as the gateway to Norfolk, and provided an opportunity to acknowledge the challenges faced by the town, including vacant properties on the high street.

Since the funding was announced earlier this year, Breckland Council has been working on establishing an independent Thetford Town Board which deliver this £20m investment, drawing on previous engagement with local residents and businesses. The visit provided an opportunity for the district council to discuss proposals for the board. An announcement on the board’s membership is expected to be made soon.

Cllr Chapman-Allen commented: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Hawksbee to Thetford and show him and his team first-hand how the Government’s investment could unlock the tremendous opportunity of this important Breckland town. This money can help drive regeneration, economic growth, and improved quality of life for Thetford residents and businesses, as well as creating ripples across the district and wider county.”