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Lottery cash for Runham projects

PUBLISHED: 17:57 11 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:31 03 July 2010

A CALL has been made for Lottery cash earmarked for community projects in Runham Vauxhall to be used to give the shabby area around Vauxhall Bridge a much-needed facelift.

A CALL has been made for Lottery cash earmarked for community projects in Runham Vauxhall to be used to give the shabby area around Vauxhall Bridge a much-needed facelift.

About £400,000 of Fairshare Lottery Funding has yet to be spent in the area and Labour leader Mick Castle believes the cash should be channelled towards improving the rundown and “pretty grim” area around the landmark bridge.

Mr Castle raised the issue at Monday night's Yarmouth area liaison meeting where it was revealed that Norfolk County Council would be making £100,000-worth of improvements to access at the railway station, making it easier for wheelchair users and people with pushchairs.

David Wardale, principal technician for planning and transport at the county council, also explained that a joint feasibility study by the borough council, county council and local urban regeneration company 1st East was currently exploring ways the shabby area, particularly Vauxhall Bridge, could be revamped to create a more welcoming gateway to the town. However, problems with rights of way had thrown up complications, he added.

Mr Castle believes Lottery cash awarded to the area five years ago should be spent on giving the bridge and surrounding area a facelift.

“I would like to see that money spent on this project because it would make a big difference to local people,” he said.

Mr Castle said he understood part of the £850,000 Lottery grant was already earmarked for projects devised by the local community but almost half of the cash was still available.

Head of regeneration at the borough council, Tim Howard, explained that the bridge was owned by a trust set up by private company Sustrans. “This trust exists only for the purpose of holding title deeds. It is stuck in limbo.”

Mr Howard said a thorough bridge repair job and revamping of the whole area would come in at more than £3m. He added: “With some goodwill and clear thinking a facelift can be achieved.”

Mr Castle added he would like to see nearby supermarket Asda make a contribution towards any facelift project. “Asda should pay something towards it because it is an important access to the supermarket. The loss of that bridge would be detrimental to their business,” he said.

Conservative councillor Graham Plant, cabinet member for regenera-tion and tourism, said there was light at the end of the tunnel for the project, adding proposals for a facelift would be put before the council's cabinet in spring next year.

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