Dragons’ Den-style competitions launching in bid to boost town centre footfall

A series of Dragons’ Den-style competitions will be used to hand out funding to groups looking to increase town centre footfall.

Norfolk County Council has announced a £6,000 Love Your Town fund, offering grants of up to £1,000 to organisations and groups which implement new initiatives to “generate footfall and increase activity” in Downham, Hunstanton and Lynn.

The scheme, which is also being boosted by Government funding and is supported by West Norfolk Council, launches today.

Town centres in Lynn (pictured), Downham and Hunstanton are set to benefit from the funding. Picture: Ian Burt
Town centres in Lynn (pictured), Downham and Hunstanton are set to benefit from the funding. Picture: Ian Burt

A series of Dragons’ Den style competitions will be held in January, where groups or businesses can present ideas to a panel to ask for a share of the funding.

People have until Friday, December 8 to submit their expressions of interest. For more information, and to express interest in bidding for a grant, they can visit www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/LoveYourTown

Cllr Fabian Eagle, the county council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “I am passionate about Norfolk’s towns and how important they are to our local economy.

“Further to our pilot scheme in Breckland, we’re extending this funding opportunity to local businesses and groups in the Lynn & West Norfolk area.

“If you’re a business or group with new ideas that give residents a great reason to visit their town centres in Downham, Hunstanton or Lynn, we want to hear from you.”

Cllr Alistair Beales, the borough council’s cabinet member for business, added: “By working closely with our county council partners we’ve been able to create an exciting new opportunity for local groups and businesses to put forward their creative ideas to enhance our towns.

“I’m looking forward to hearing people’s ideas about how we can make our towns even better for our residents and visitors and help boost west Norfolk’s economy.”

The county council will welcome applications from any groups or businesses in the area, but any activity must be a brand-new idea and should support multiple areas or services within the three towns mentioned.

They must also have a link to creating interest or increasing footfall in town centres.