Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s brand new £2m station in King’s Lynn will be officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh next month.
The South Lynn Fire Station on Horsley’s Fields will soon be fully operational helping serve the south of the town and surrounding areas, and as a result, reduce response times for crews attending emergencies.
On 2 February, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will be greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Mr Richard Jewson. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will then meet Nigel Williams, Chief Fire Officer for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, who will introduce them to some of the King’s Lynn-based firefighters, a group of young people who are undertaking a Princes Trust Programme, as well as a number of Fire Service Cadets.
Before departing, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will unveil a plaque to commemorate the official opening. Nigel Williams will then invite Her Majesty and His Royal Highness to sign a portrait for display in the station.
The new fire station has been made possible thanks to £2 million of funding from Norfolk County Council as part of an agreed three year Fire and Rescue Service Plan. The funding has been used predominantly to build South Lynn Fire Station but training facilities at the sister North Lynn Fire Station have also been improved for crews. This includes for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s Youth Development projects including the Princes Trust partnership, as well as major improvements to the workshop facilities to improve vehicle maintenance across the County Council’s fleet.
Nigel Williams, Chief Fire Officer at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said; “The new South Lynn Fire Station is situated less than 7 miles from The Queen’s Sandringham Estate so we are delighted that Her Majesty and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh are able to join us and are honoured that they will formally open the station.
“The new station will provide a welcome boost to the Fire and Rescue Service and more importantly to the residents of Norfolk. With the current financial pressures on all public services, it is reassuring that the County Council and Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are still committed to improving the safety and service to the people of Norfolk.”
Station Manager for King’s Lynn, Bob Ayers, said: “The official opening of the South Lynn Station gives us the opportunity to showcase some of the work we do in the West of the county. Representatives of both the Princes Trust and Hunstanton Fire Cadets will be present on the day. Both these schemes provide an opportunity for the Service to work with and develop young people in our area.
“The new station will be home to the Technical Rescue Unit and Surface Rescue Boat which was deployed to assist with flooding along the West Norfolk Coast during the tidal surge of December 2013, and also in Windsor during the widespread flooding in early 2014.”
The King’s Lynn Innovation Centre will support the local community by delivering a landmark building designed to support new and growing businesses, together with a comprehensive package of help to overcome the barriers to starting up.
The centre will be owned and operated by Nwes, the country’s leading enterprise agency and provide high-calibre one-to-one advice, mentoring, workshops, and access to financial support for local businesses. A state-of-the-art commercial workspace, the centre will act as a catalyst for further highly skilled employment opportunities on the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area site.
The innovation centre has been made possible with a £2.5 million loan from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s, Growing Places Fund, and £1 million of funding from the Borough Council.
The building will be environmentally sustainable – embracing sustainable practices throughout the design, construction and operational phases.
Nwes CEO Kevin Horne said “We first started the discussions to build an Innovation centre in Kings Lynn in 2004. It has taken ten years of hard toil to identify a suitable site and specification to bring the very best to West Norfolk. This Innovation Centre will link with our 23 other centres across the region to form a network which will exploit the undoubted talent available locally.”
Cllr Alistair Beales said: “The submission of these plans marks an exciting step forward for the project. We hope the proposals will be greeted with support not only from the existing community at Nar Ouse but also from other local businesses. It will provide a superb space for businesses to grow and develop which will in turn create jobs, support the local economy and raise aspirations locally.”
The public are invited to view plans which will be on display at the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk between 4-7pm within the Committee Suite, Chapel Street, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 1EX.
The people of West Norfolk have been invited to have their first look at the exciting new internal layout for homes in Hillington Square.
It’s the first opportunity tenants have been able to see the work that’s been taking place as part of the £30 million regeneration project being carried out by Freebridge Community Housing.
The show flat has been impressively dressed by Gerardine and Tilly Hemingway, of Hemingway Design, giving the flat a modern and spacious feel.
Tenants will be moving into their new homes at Millfleet Court later this year. In the meantime the show flat can be viewed on Wednesday and Thursday, September 10 and 11, between 3pm-7pm at 149 Norris House, Hillington Square.
A £4 million state-of-the-art business help centre is one step closer to reality in King’s Lynn, with lead architects having been appointed.
The King’s Lynn Innovation Centre, will support the local community by delivering a comprehensive package of help to overcome the barriers to setting up business, including one-to-one advice, mentoring, workshops, and access to financial support.
The commercial workspace will be owned and operated by leading enterprise agency Nwes, and act as a catalyst for further highly skilled employment opportunities on the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area site.
The innovation centre has been made possible with £2.5 million of funding from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s, Growing Places Fund, and £1 million of funding from the Borough Council.
Operators are hoping the high-spec facility will provide the “optimum environment for business, enterprise and innovation to flourish.”
Lead Designer Philip Bodie, said “Helping to create a new King’s Lynn landmark is both a challenge and a privilege”
Cllr Alistair Beales, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Industrial Assets, said: “This is a really exciting step forward for the town. Creating an environment in which business can thrive is vital to the long-term success of the local economy. The construction of the King’s Lynn Enterprise and Innovation Centre gives a clear signal that King’s Lynn is serious about developing business excellence and promoting growth.”
The King’s Lynn Innovation Centre is due for completion in 2016, providing a local hub for business formation and growth for generations to come.
More than 50,000 Norfolk homes and businesses now have access to high speed fibre broadband, thanks to Norfolk County Council’s and BT’s Better Broadband for Norfolk (BBfN) programme.
The milestone comes just 10 months after the first superfast services were made available in the village of Croxton, near Thetford. Since then, BT engineers have been installing fibre optic cabling and new green roadside fibre broadband cabinets in communities across the county.
Some of the latest areas to be upgraded to receive faster broadband are in and around Downham Market, Hunstanton, North Walsham and Watton. Later in the year, properties in and around Fakenham, Dersingham, Heacham and Poringland, among others, are due to join them.
The BBfN programme is set to continue until December 2015, with the ambition of ensuring over 80 per cent of the county’s homes and businesses can access high speed broadband services of 24Mbps and above.
The council is hoping to extend the reach of the programme to bring superfast broadband to even more parts of Norfolk and is currently in discussions to secure match funding in order to bring in millions of pounds of extra central Government investment on top of the £15 million already committed by the Government agency Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). An announcement about this is due over the summer.
George Nobbs, Leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “It’s impressive how much has been achieved by this public-private sector partnership in a relatively short space of time. Norfolk is ahead of most other counties that are part of the BDUK programme and we’re really starting to shed the ‘poor cousin’ tag in terms of our broadband connectivity. The importance of this cannot be overstated – it makes Norfolk a more attractive place to live, work and do business, increases educational opportunities and decreases social exclusion.
Tony Sutton lives in south Norfolk and now receives a faster broadband service after a fibre broadband cabinet was installed nearby by Better Broadband for Norfolk. He said: “Faster broadband has helped to make our lives easier. I’m deaf and rely heavily on the internet to make phone calls, contact people and businesses, organise interpreters and appointments, and to keep up-to-date with the news. Our old broadband speed was dreadfully slow, always buffering or losing connection.
“We can now use Skype to stay in contact with family and friends using British Sign Language. My son is deaf and he can now use BBC iPlayer to watch Magic Hands and Mr Tumble. We also use the internet to access applications to help our son develop his speech and language. Our daughter is hearing and we will be using the internet to help her to learn sign language to communicate with the rest of her family.”
The high-speed network installed by Openreach is available on an open, wholesale basis to all communication providers, therefore offering Norfolk households and businesses the benefit of real choice from a highly competitive market.
Each roadside fibre broadband cabinet serves homes and businesses in a very localised area such as part of a village or town. As faster services become available, people will be able to check whether their home or business can receive them via the Better Broadband for Norfolk website.
For more information about the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme, visit www.betterbroadbandnorfolk.co.uk.
One of King’s Lynn’s true hidden gems was rolled out onto the car park of Cooper Roller Bearings on Friday. The ‘Cooper Car’ is one of only 6 ever made at the Cooper Factory in the early 1900s, and is the only surviving example.
The car will be taking part in the first ever King’s Lynn Classic Car Day, taking place on 14 September 2014, as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days.
The new event is the brainchild of Cllr Chris Crofts, who himself owns a classic 1973 Vauxhall Viva 4-door saloon.
He explained: “Hundreds of people visit the town for Heritage Open Days and I felt that by putting an additional attraction on along the waterfront that people would also head there and enjoy the environment, support the businesses in that area, and take advantage of visiting the historic buildings that surround the waterside. The quay front is perfect for lining up the classic cars for people to view.”
The event was launched launched on Friday, to encourage owners of classic vehicles to get in touch and register their vehicle online atwest-norfolk.gov.uk.
Cllr Crofts added: “Many people will be unaware that cars were ever made in King’s Lynn. To be able to display the only surviving example at our Classic Car Day means a great deal to us, and we are confident it will attract people to the event. We are truly grateful to Cooper’s for agreeing to this opportunity.”
Pat Smith, Site Director at Cooper Roller Bearings Company Ltd, said: “Cooper has over 120 years of history in the town, having been continually based on the Wisbech Road site. Today the company is known throughout the world as the leader and specialist in the design and manufacture of split bearing technologies. However, in the early days Cooper also produced Steam Diggers, Bombs, Clutches and even a few Cars!
“We are proud of our engineering heritage and long association with King’s Lynn. Therefore we welcome the opportunity to participate in this event by displaying the Cooper car, and greatly look forward to joining the many classic car enthusiasts and visitors for the day.”
The event will take place between 10am and 4pm on Sunday, 14 September. Anyone wishing to show their vehicle will need to complete the online exhibitor’s entry form by 10 August 2014.
Alison Gifford, Chair of the King’s Lynn Civic Society, which organises the Heritage Open Day, added: “This really is an exciting addition to what is already a very popular day.”
The Mayor, Cllr Barry Ayres, said: “As Mayor and a keen classic car enthusiast myself, I am absolutely delighted to be involved with this event. I am really looking forward to the day and hope that many enthusiasts like me, will come along to exhibit their vehicles.”
Young people aged between 16 and 23 and businesses in Norfolk are being encouraged to find out more about a new apprenticeship scheme.
Norfolk County Council’s Adult Education team and Swarm Apprenticeships are inviting young people and potential employers to events in King’s Lynn, Norwich and Sheringham next month to find out more about a new programme that will create 36 new apprenticeships.
Starting in July, the new apprenticeship programme will run for 14 months and provide young people with real work place experience and the opportunity to achieve a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Enterprise Skills in a Business Environment with Norfolk Adult Education. It is also backed by the Government’s Growth Accelerator partnership programme.
Norfolk Adult Education service will deliver the training and Swarm will be working with businesses to identify a specific project for the apprentices to work on, thereby providing a focus for the training for the benefit of the apprentice and the employer.
Margaret Wilkinson, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet member for Communities, with responsibility for Adult Education, said: “Our Adult Education team provides a comprehensive skills and qualifications’ programme, including significant learning opportunities for young people not in education, employment or training.
“Given our experience and expertise with young people, this collaboration with Swarm is very exciting because it will help us to reach more of Norfolk’s young people as well as provide us with the opportunity to look at different ways of delivering services with innovative partners.
“I appeal to any young person who may be unsure about their next step to come along to one of these events, and find out more information.”
To qualify for the apprenticeship, young people need to be aged between 16 and 23 and ideally have (or be predicted) five GCSEs at grade D or above, with a good standard of English and maths.
Robert Ashton, Swarm’s founder, said: “We’ve set out to overcome many of the barriers that currently hold small business owners back from taking on an apprentice.
“We want young people with get up and go to help businesses grow… additional help can be given if exam results have let someone down. This qualification focuses on the business; training is delivered locally and flexibly and there’s lots of support for both employer and apprentice.”
The new apprenticeship follows a successful pilot last year with 12 apprentices from across Norfolk.
Employers and potential new apprentices are invited to attend the following information evenings at:
– Providence Street Youth Centre, King’s Lynn, from 4pm to 6pm on Friday, 2 May. For more information on this event, please follow this link: http://ow.ly/w40IP
– The Forum, Norwich, from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday, 8 May. For more information on this event, please follow this link: http://ow.ly/w40OH
– Oddfellows Hall, Sheringham, from 4pm to 6pm on Tuesday, 13 May. For more information, please follow this link: http://ow.ly/w40V9
Events are free to attend but please book your place by visiting www.swarmapprentice.org.uk or telephoning 01953 609752.
Councillor Barry Ayres will be nominated as Mayor and Chairman of the Council for the forthcoming year at the Mayormaking ceremony on Thursday 8 May at King’s Lynn Town Hall.
Cllr Ayres has lived in the borough with his wife, Christine, for 27 years and took early retirement in 2006 from Terrington High School, after 32 years in the teaching profession.
Fully involved in the local community, Cllr Ayres has played in local folk music clubs, founded a West Norfolk motor club, has been a parish councillor in Tilney St Lawrence for 17 years and has chaired the Parish Council for the last 14 years. As a Borough Councillor for the last 11 years, he has served on various panels and committees, including the Cabinet Scrutiny Committee, chairing the Standards Committee and vice chairing his local Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel working with Parish Councils and Police liaison.
Having held the position of Deputy Mayor in 2013-14, Cllr Ayres is familiar with the Mayor’s civic duties. He said: “I am very much looking forward to my year as Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. I shall do my best to serve the people of this borough in a fitting and proper manner. I am particularly keen to work with members of the community at all levels and feel honoured and privileged to be nominated for this role.”
Cllr Colin Manning, who has represented the Heacham ward for nearly 3 years, will be nominated as the Deputy Mayor.
Outgoing mayor, Cllr Elizabeth Watson reflected upon her time as Mayor. She said: “My year as Mayor has really opened my eyes to all that is good in West Norfolk. We have a huge amount of talent in the borough and there is an army of volunteers who do so much for the community; it all adds up to making this a brilliant area in which to live. I wish Cllr Ayres all the best in his new role and I know he will be a great ambassador for us all.”
Workers started to demolish the old Pilot Cinema on John Kennedy Road on Monday morning, making way for 25 new homes by the end of the year.
Graham Tinkler ( @GrahamTinkler) tweeted: “I can remember my Mum and Dad taking me to see Cooperman there. Dad moaned the entire way through about uncomfy seats!”
Marie Connell (@MarieConnell1) tweeted: “I remember seeing Grease there.”
Do you have any memories of the old Cinema? Let us Know!
From March people will be able to manage their council tax accounts online.
The new View and Do it Online facility will mean that customers can create an electronic council tax account, where they will be able to make balance enquiries, update personal information and pay their bills.
As well as giving customers greater convenience, as it will mean that basic enquiries and updates can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it will also mean that more complex enquiries can be dealt with even more efficiently by advisors.
Cllr David Pope, Cabinet Member for Assets, said: “Thousands of customers already choose to pay their council tax bills online because of the convenience it allows. The View and Do It Online service will give people even greater flexibility; whether they want to notify us that they are moving house or check their council tax balance, they will be able to do this, without the need to call or visit the council.
“Increasingly, customers expect digital services to be available. We think the View and Do It Online is a great way to offer customers more choice and make the most of our resources. Enabling people to make simple checks and changes for themselves will mean that they can get the job done in a couple clicks, at a time that suits them. It also means that people with more complex enquiries, who need the assistance of an advisor, can be helped more quickly. As well as benefitting individual customers, the new service also has the potential in the longer term to be more cost effective, helping to keep council tax low.”
People can register at: www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/mycounciltax. Applicants will receive a username and password. The system is easy to use and features a user guide detailing the process for completing key tasks.
The council say this is an additional service, and residents will still be able to manage their council tax accounts in the usual way if they prefer.
The Environment Agency has issued a FLOOD WARNING for the Tidal River Great Ouse along the Kings Lynn river frontage.
Among the areas included are the South Quay, and most of South Lynn.
High tide in King’s Lynn is 7.15 pm.
Police officers will visit homes that need to be evacuated.
Latest details available at:
The The Environment Agency and Met Office have warned there is potential for significant coastal flooding along the East Coast of England during Thursday and Friday, which may result in flooding affecting parts of the Wash and North Norfolk, with possible travel disruption.
Gale-force winds with gusts of 70-80 mph will cause large waves to form, and combine with spring tides and a large surge later in the day.
The east coast including Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Essex and Southend-on-Sea could also be affected. Coastal communities around the Thames Estuary and Kent could also see flooding.
John Curtin, the Environment Agency’s Head of Incident Management, said: “Gale force winds and large waves along the east coast of England are forecast during Thursday and Friday, coinciding with high tides.
“Impacts could include flooding affecting some coastal properties and communities. Coastal paths and promenades could be highly dangerous as there is an increased risk of being swept out to sea. People are warned to stay away from the shoreline.
“The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation closely, working alongside partners including the Met Office and local authorities. Environment Agency teams are out on the ground confirming that flood defences are in good working order, monitoring sea levels and preparing to issue flood warnings if necessary.
“People should check the Environment Agency website or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood outlook, and to sign up to receive free flood warnings.”