It is very much a case of ‘business as usual’ for the Heritage Triangle traders in Diss as the long-awaited streetscape works get underway in the town’s historic commercial centre.
It is hoped the streetscape works, which began this week and are expected to run until the first week of July, will create a more attractive and pedestrian friendly environment, showing off the area’s heritage.
It forms part of the Heritage Lottery funded project, which will also see a rejuvenation of the Corn Hall, and a boardwalk and wildlife gardens behind the council offices.
A series of squares will be created up Market Hill and St Nicholas Street, including at the junction with Mount Street. It will also feature raised tables stretching across the carriageway, to help people cross safely, while pavements will be widened and kerbs will be lowered where possible.
The streetscaping will cost about £630,00, and while there will be traffic diversions and closure of some pavement areas for short periods, all shops and local businesses will be open and accessible.
Sheila Moss King, programme manager for the Diss Heritage Triangle and Diss Corn Hall Project, said: “Working with Tarmac and Norfolk County Council Highways, we’ve carefully planned the works to ensure that the shops and offices in the Triangle will be open for business, even though sections of the streets will be closed at certain times.
We’re excited the work is now underway, and can’t wait to see the results in JulySheila Moss King, programme manager
“We’re excited the work is now underway, and can’t wait to see the results in July. Meanwhile, we’ll be starting work in the next week or so on the boardwalk and wildlife gardens behind the council offices, and the Corn Hall reopens in early May, so by the summer, the transformation of the area should be complete for all to enjoy.”
The Heritage Triangle is the old commercial heart of the town. The centre of the Triangle, where the buildings are today, was the original market place, with a charter regranted in 1274.
Some of the buildings date from the 1500s, and the street layout is unchanged since the early 17th Century.
All in all, the Heritage Triangle Programme is a £3.4m investment.
Work to rejuvenate the Corn Hall, which will officially reopen on May 5, will cost £2.43m, the boardwalk and gardens £200,000, and interpretation boards £140,000.