Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Hillington Square Show Flat goes on display

Relaxing in the Show Flat: Designer Wayne Hemingway, Freebridge Chief Executive Tony Hall and Construction Manager Michael Saunders.

Relaxing in the Show Flat: Designer Wayne Hemingway, Freebridge Chief Executive Tony Hall and Lovell Construction Manager Michael Saunders.

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 work still in progress: Designer Wayne Hemingway stands outside Hillington Square

A Work still in progress: Designer Wayne Hemingway stands outside Millfleet Court.

Hillingto sq show flat bedroom 1

Hillingto sq show flat bedroom 1a

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£4 million state-of-the-art Innovation Centre a step closer

Artists impression of the new Kings Lynn Innovation Centre.

Artists impression of the new Kings Lynn Innovation Centre.

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.

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50,000 Norfolk premises now have high-speed broadband

better broadband engineer

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

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Lynn’s vintage ‘Cooper Car’ launches new event

Cllrs Chris Crofts and Nick Daubney try out the Cooper Car.

Cllrs Chris Crofts and Nick Daubney try out the Cooper Car.

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.

King's Lynn Councillors and representatives of Coopers launch the new Classic Car Day.

The Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Councillors and representatives of Coopers launch the new Classic Car Day.

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 drivers view looks very different to modern cars!

The drivers view looks very different to modern cars!

The event was launched launched on Friday, to encourage owners of classic vehicles to get in touch and register their vehicle online

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.”

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New apprenticeships announced for Norfolk

swarm leaflet cutting

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:

– The Forum, Norwich, from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday, 8 May. For more information on this event, please follow this link:

– Oddfellows Hall, Sheringham, from 4pm to 6pm on Tuesday, 13 May. For more information, please follow this link:

Events are free to attend but please book your place by visiting or telephoning 01953 609752.

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Old Pilot Cinema ~ Going Going Gone!

From Picture Palace to Pile of Bricks …

The Pilot Cinema in 1937.

The Pilot Cinema in 1937.

The building as it appeared before demolition.

The building as it appeared in 2012, before demolition.

Workers start to demolish the old Pilot Cinema

The old Zoots nightclub sign lies on one side of the site.


The front of the building disappears in a pile of rubble.

pilot cinema demolition 3

Half demolished!


Nothing left standing – time to bring on the rubble crushers!

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New Borough Mayor announced

 Deputy Mayor, Councillor Barry Ayres - Speeking at Trues Yard. Photo:  Alan T Shearer

Deputy Mayor, Councillor Barry Ayres – Speaking at Trues Yard. Photo: Alan T Shearer

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.”

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Reduced to rubble – old Pilot Cinema

pilot cinema demolition 3

Less than half of the old Pilot Cinema building was left standing on Friday evening … making way for 25 new homes by the end of the year.

More Pictures

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Demolition of old Pilot Cinema

Workers start to demolish the old Pilot Cinema

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.

The old Zoots nightclub sign lies on one side of the site.

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!

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Manage your Council Tax online!

council tax PayOnline

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: 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.

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In Pictures ~ The Queen at Wolferton

The Queen attended a service at Wolferton Church on Sunday. Despite the rain, there was a turnout of about 200 spectators. Photos by Kevin Elfleet.

Queen at Wolferton0001

Queen at Wolferton0002

Queen at Wolferton0003

Queen at Wolferton0004

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King’s Lynn Flood ~ In Pictures

By 6.30 pm the river had alreay breached the South Quay.

By 6.30 pm the river had alreay breached the South Quay.

Flooding at the customs House. Photo: letsbooktoo (Twitter)

Flooding at the customs House. Photo: letsbooktoo (Twitter)

Floodgate holds back the river from flooding the town. Photo: Shan Durrant

Floodgate holds back the river from flooding the town. Photo: Shan Durrant

Flooding on the Quay: Photo: Shan Durrant

Flooding on the Quay: Photo: Shan Durrant

Fishing boats at Boal Quay. Photo: Kevin Elfleet

Fishing boats at Boal Quay. Photo: Kevin Elfleet

South Quay, alongside Millfleet.  This used to be a road! Photo: Kevin Elfleet

South Quay, alongside Millfleet. This used to be a road! Photo: Kevin Elfleet

Cars being carried away from Boal Quay. Photo: Kevin Elfleet

Cars being carried away from Boal Quay. Photo: Kevin Elfleet

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FLOOD WARNING for King’s Lynn

Flood Warning Area shown in RED. Fllod Alert Area in ORANGE.

Flood Warning Area shown in RED.
Flood Alert Area in ORANGE.

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:

Environment Agency Flood Alerts

Live Flood Warning Map


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Storm surge could cause coastal flooding in Norfolk

Amber Warning covers most of the East of                        England.

Amber Warning covers most of the East of England.

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.

Diagram shows how strong winds, low pressure + high tides are combining to give risk of flooding.

Diagram shows how strong winds, low pressure + high tides are combining to give risk of flooding.

“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.”

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Cargo Ship Blaze ~ In Pictures

Photo: Keith Berry

Photo: Keith Berry

Ten fire appliances attended a fire on board the ship Hanseatic Scout berthed at Bentinck Dock. The fire was in the hold which contained wood chippings. Firemen used breathing apparatus and compressed air foam to extinguish the fire, and all of the ships crew are said to be safe.

ship fire 2

ship fire 3

ship fire 1

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Fire at KFC

KFC Fire

Pictures & report by Alan Taylor-Shearer

At 08:41 On 1 Aug 2013 I received the following tweet.

“SDDG7TFL @alantshearer I hear that kfc in kings lynn had a fire last night?”

So I headed down to Hardwick Road, King’s Lynn, to find out more. Outwardly there was
no sighs of fire damage but taking a look inside I could see that there was some fire
damage in the kitchen area. This was confirmed by a statement from KFC.

A spokesperson for KFC said:
“We can confirm that our Kings Lynn restaurant is currently closed after a small fire last night. The restaurant was immediately evacuated, and nobody was injured.”

“The fire service turned up quickly to put out the fire, and we are now carrying out a clean-up operation. We hope to reopen in the next few days, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience this will cause.”

Norfolk Fire & rescue service had the following information on their incident feed.

“6442 Jul 31 20 13 22:51:24
Kings Lynn. Three pump from Kings Lynn were mobilsed to a building fire on Hansa Road. Crews wore breathing apparatus and used hose reel jets to extinguish.”

The clean up was in full swing before 9am this morning & staff where busy cleaning the
store. Whilst I was there the smell of smoke was still hanging in the air and it was obvious that the fire service had done a stirling job.

Its not localized snow in August, this is foam used to extinguish the fire.

Its not localized snow in August, this is foam used to extinguish the fire.

Its a good point to note that no one was injured in this fire & the emergency service response was prompt and effective.

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