Posted by Stella Gooch
Photos by Stella Gooch
Members of the Hunstanton Regeneration Project Team and Hunstanton Round Table, gathered at The Spinney in Hunstanton on 19 February 2014 to mark the completion of the refurbishment project.
Work on The Spinney began in September 2013 and the new scheme incorporates an event space and pedestrian priority area towards the High Street. The event space is partially surrounded by a curving feature wall, which includes photograph tiles and letter engraving. A feature balustrade is fitted to the top of the wall. New street furniture, trees and lighting have been installed to punctuate the landscaping, providing places to pause. Works to the High Street included resurfacing of carriage way and pedestrian crossing points, de-cluttering of street furniture and new feature planters.
Cllr Alistair Beales, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “The focus of this project has been the involvement of the public and key stakeholders. The Hunstanton Regeneration Project Team has been pivotal in this work and I would like to express my thanks to them.
“The scheme is a big improvement, and now there is a clear pedestrian link into the High Street. We’ve also created a small performance area, where events can be held to encourage more people into the town centre.”
The tiled walled, a most attractive feature within the scheme, has been developed using photos submitted by members of the public and beautifully illustrates the halcyon days of the Victoria seaside upon which Hunstanton was built.
Cllr Elizabeth Watson, Borough Councillor and Chair of the Hunstanton Regeneration Project Team, said: “We received an array of photographs, from which we selected 25 to feature in the wall. These tiles tell the story of Hunstanton and in particular give an indication of what the town was like during its Victorian heyday.”
“We are grateful to everyone involved in creating this wall, from those providing the photos to those selecting the ones to use. We are now producing an explanatory leaflet to help visitors to the area to understand more about this beautiful resort.”
Also featured in the wall are two carved dedications: One to Richard Searle MBE for his services to the Round Table and one to Henry and Hamon Le Strange – visionaries, in recognition of establishing Hunstanton as a classic Victorian seaside resort. The wording is picked out in the wall using stone.
Gary Waddison, Chairman, Hunstanton and District Round Table, said: “Richard credited many of his achievements to what he learned in his early years spent in Round Table.
“We are delighted to be able to pay tribute to Richard’s outstanding service to the local community through his years spent in Hunstanton and District Round Table.
“We are especially pleased to have Richard remembered here as this is the kind of project I’m sure he would have been delighted to see happen.”
A celebratory formal opening of the Spinney is being planned for Easter to mark the start of the season. A range of activities will be organised with local groups to demonstrate how the new space can be used. More details of this will be published shortly.
In 2008, when the Hunstanton town centre and southern seafront masterplan was developed, The Spinney was identified as an area that could, with enhancements, become a more inviting and accessible place that could be shaped to help direct people towards the town centre. This was highlighted again by Hunstanton’s Town Team, established as part of the town’s efforts to attract funding from the Mary Portas Scheme.
Funding for this scheme (£347,000) has come from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and Norfolk County Council. The work to enhance the area around the Spinney has been funded by Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, and was carried out on their behalf by Norfolk County Council’s strategic partnership with May Gurney (now part of Kier Group) for construction and Mott MacDonald for design work. Norfolk County Council undertook maintenance and street scene enhancement works along High Street at the same time to reduce overall cost and minimise disruption.
The final plan was created by Wynne Williams Associates Ltd, landscape architects based on an initial brief developed by the borough council in conjunction with the Hunstanton Town Team and Regeneration Project Team