Wanted: A revolution for Wymondham

Stephanie BrooksA newly-formed task group of traders and councillors in Wymondham is taking on the challenge of revitalising their historic market town.Stephanie Brooks

A newly-formed task group of traders and councillors in Wymondham is taking on the challenge of revitalising their historic market town.

South Norfolk Council has thrown down the gauntlet to the group as part of wider scheme to turn-around the fortunes of the district's declining shopping areas.

Within its first six weeks, members have already come up with a list of ideas which they hope will attract more people and businesses to Wymondham and transform it into the Paris of Norfolk.

Group member Dan Gavrovski, who owns Banana Fudge Studios in the town, said: 'We're not just planning quick fixes. We're thinking longer term. Some we can roll out in a couple of weeks, some in the next few months and others over years.

'For me we're not looking to evolve the town, we're trying to revolutionise the town.'

The task group formed following a push by South Norfolk Council, which wants communities to come up with their own suggestions on how their towns could be improved.

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It's made up of representatives from South Norfolk Council, Wymondham Town Council and Wymondham Retail Trade Group.

Although it has no actual powers or money, the group gives members a platform from which they can present their ideas to the authorities with the hope of influencing changes in the town.

Ideas already on the table include using Wymondham's historic market place for daily activities, alongside its weekly market and one-off large events.

These could range from a local trader selling fresh coffee to art exhibitions and there is even talk of laying astro-turf so people can play games like bowls.

Another priority is to make the town centre more pedestrian friendly, and the group wants to talk to the Highways Authority about making some streets completely pedestrianised.

It has already instigated a new website which should be up-and-running by the summer and will provide visitors with information on Wymondham's long history, its proximity to other major tourist attractions, an events calendar and a profile on every business working in the town.

But most importantly the group wants to focus on getting people and businesses to stay in Wymondham, and get across the message to residents how lucky they are to live there.

Mr Gavrovski, said: 'It's a lovely place to conduct your every day life but also to forget the trials and tribulations. We do not publicise that enough. Wymondham is an unpolished gem.'

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