An ambitious £3 million project to regenerate the historic Heritage Triangle in Diss moved one step closer to becoming a reality this week as the plans hit another major funding milestone.
Donations from businesses and local residents crossed £50,000, half of the £100,000 goal the Diss Heritage Partnership hopes to achieve by November, which would add on to the £2 million received in grants from Norfolk County Council, Diss Town Council and investments from organisations like the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
The partnership believes that the rejuvenation project, which plans to renovate the Diss Corn Hall and introduce a new public garden and a new Mere boardwalk if it reaches its required funding, could attract an additional 135,000 people per year to Diss, whilst also helping to fill empty shops and decrease the turnover of business tenants.
David Case, Friends of Diss Corn Hall trustee and member of the Diss Heritage Triangle development team, said: “This has been a phenomenal start to our fundraising bid to transform a historic part of Diss and, in the process, provide a massive boost to the wider town and everyone who lives here.
“We have been delighted by the generosity of so many businesses and people within Diss. It’s so important that we keep up the momentum.”
The Heritage Partnership submitted an application back in May for more than £1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and will find out if it was successful in September.
It adds that these improvements to the area will have massive knock-on effects for commerce and employment not only within the Heritage Triangle, which covers St Nicholas Street, Market Hill and Market Place, but across the rest of the town as well.
Mary Jones, of Victoria Road-based IT company 121 Computers, said: “While our business isn’t in the Triangle area, the added appeal of the Corn Hall and the walkway should attract many more people to take a walk in our town and use the local shops, rather than simply drive to the supermarkets and disappear without sampling what Diss has to offer.”
Anybody wishing to pledge money towards the project can request a donation form via firstname.lastname@example.org