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Cash boost for Norwich Castle Gardens

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:32 02 July 2010

Sam Emanuel

A massive revamp of a city centre beauty spot could be on the cards after it was earmarked for a massive grant as part of a bid to tackle antisocial behaviour.

A massive revamp of a city centre beauty spot could be on the cards after it was earmarked for a massive grant as part of a bid to tackle antisocial behaviour.

The city centre Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel (SNAP) came up with a list of recommendations for the improvement of Castle Gardens after receiving several complaints from adults about the behaviour young people using the park.

It enlisted the help of the Youth SNAP and youngsters in the area to incorporate the views of young people into the plans, in an attempt to allow both adults and teenagers to enjoy the area without feeling threatened.

The recommendations now look set to be allocated £64,000 from developers building on King Street in an agreement called a section 106 agreement and have been given £20,000 from the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP), which includes Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council, the police, the fire service and the Primary Care Trust.

The CDRP money must be spent by the end of the financial year, but Norwich City Council says that the project is on track to happen, although the plans still need committee approval.

George Ishmael, landscape planning and strategy officer at the city council, has sketched several draft designs for the park, which include more seating, moving existing seating away from the main pathways and putting a cover over the audience space of the Whiffler Theatre.

Julian Foster, chair of the city centre SNAP, said: “We had a lot of consultation with young people who use the park and Nathan Williamson convened a number of meetings so young people could suggest how it could be redesigned in the way they wanted.

“They came up with suggestions which were put to the council's strategy committee as part of a walk around Castle Gardens last year.

“One of the suggestions was for somewhere they could meet undercover, as they said it would mean they wouldn't need to meet in the lift shaft and spray graffiti on everything.”

Amy Lyall, spokeswoman for Norwich City Council, said: “This money is intended to provide facilities for teenagers in the neighbourhood and also address perceived anti-social behaviour in Castle Gardens.

“We have worked with a number of partners including the police on this project. Young people have been involved throughout the process to find a solution so everybody can enjoy the gardens.”

Are you fighting antisocial behaviour where you live? Call David Bale on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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