Norfolk people urged to support local businesses in run-up to Christmas after floods

Floods. Walcott residents come together for a quiet moment.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Floods. Walcott residents come together for a quiet moment. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Friday, December 13, 2013
7:15 PM

Council leaders whose authorities have been in the flooding response front-line have urged Norfolk people to help the recovery by spending money with local businesses in the run-up to Christmas.

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Coastal communities including Walcott and Hemsby bore the brunt of the storm surge, while towns such as Sheringham, Cromer, Great Yarmouth, Hunstanton and King’s Lynn took a battering along their sea fronts and defences.

Even so, most shops and businesses were unaffected, while others have been working hard to re-open.

The leaders of Norfolk County Council, the Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Councils, and North Norfolk District Council, are urging people to show their support by helping local shops, restaurants, pubs and other businesses to have a great Christmas.

George Nobbs, Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “The whole county has pulled together in this crisis, and Norfolk people have shown remarkable resilience and compassion.

“Huge effort has gone into the clean-up, and there’s more to do. But it’s also important to remind people that most of the county remained unscathed, despite the fact that in places the tide level was above that of 1953. We should count our blessings and reflect on what happened 60 years ago.”

Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of North Norfolk District Council, added: “North Norfolk was definitely battered and bruised by the surge tide and winds that hit our coast last week.

“However, our coastal residents are nothing if not resilient and the clear-up started straightaway. Some communities still remain badly affected and we are continuing to provide support and assistance to help them recover. Our inland areas escaped any damage.

“The majority of our coast is ready for visitors once again. The Christmas seaside special in the Pavilion Theatre on our iconic pier at Cromer has bounced back and is open and hosting visitors from across the country. Sheringham’s Little Theatre is also in full swing. Promenades and beaches are re-opening and visitors are being made welcome.

“Right across north Norfolk, from Fakenham to Stalham on the Broads, we are gearing up to welcome visitors in the busy run-up to Christmas and the New Year. We have free parking in council car parks on the two Saturday afternoons before Christmas to allow people an opportunity to get that special present, or just have a relaxing afternoon.

“North Norfolk has over 40 miles of beautiful coast, coupled with unspoilt inland countryside featuring tranquil villages and ancient churches; just the perfect place for getting away from everything and having a relaxing last-minute Christmas break. With 2014 just around the corner we look forward to visitors having us firmly in top spot for a great holiday next year. North Norfolk is back open and welcomes you.”

Trevor Wainwright, the Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “The Great Yarmouth borough may be slightly battered following last week’s tidal surge, but damage is relatively isolated and the clean-up is underway.

“It is vitally important for the economy of Great Yarmouth and the wider region to get the message out that the borough – its beaches, broads and businesses – are still there and very much open to visitors. Great Yarmouth is a top 10 UK seaside resort, and indeed, we expect to welcome at least 5.5m visitors again in 2014. Earlier this week, the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority launched its official tourism brochure at the Sea Life Centre, on the seafront, to an audience of more than 200 local tourism professionals.

“Tourism is worth £550m to the local economy. With 65,000 bed spaces across the borough, nearly a third of all holiday nights spent in Norfolk are tourists staying in the Great Yarmouth area. And nearly 25pc of all holidays nights spent in Norfolk and Suffolk combined are taken in the borough of Great Yarmouth.”

Nick Daubney, Leader of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, said: “Some areas of west Norfolk have been affected by flood waters, but on the whole, King’s Lynn came through the tidal surges with relatively limited damage. The clean-up is underway and we are supporting business and residents who have been affected by helping them to dispose of damaged possessions and equipment.

“Many of the businesses affected hope to re-open in the next week or two, while for some it will be perhaps late spring before they re-open.

“What is crucial is that people still come along to support local businesses in King’s Lynn, Hunstanton and along the coast in West Norfolk. The vast majority are very much open for business and are relying on the increased trade at this time of year.

“Tourism is estimated to be worth around £400m to the west Norfolk economy and supports around 8,000 tourism related jobs. The borough attracts around 6m day visitors and around 570,000 staying visitors are estimated to spend just over 2m nights at accommodation throughout the borough.”

1 comment

  • Was a shame to see that when I went into Cromer on Sunday many of the shops were closed so I was unable to support them!

    Report this comment

    Kim Mitchell

    Monday, December 16, 2013

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