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Thornage community to benefit from Big Society Fund

All Saints Parish Church in Thornage is the latest community facility to benefit from a grant from North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) Big Society Fund.

01 September 2014
Thornage community to benefit from Big Society Fund

The church recently celebrated the completion of improvements, including a kitchen installation, upgraded toilet facilities and the provision of disabled access during a service attended by Tom FitzPatrick.

The £56,000 project was given a boost with a £10,000 grant from NNDC’s Big Society Fund which has awarded grants totalling almost £900,000 to over 80 community groups in the last two years for a range of projects that have been making a significant difference to the people of North Norfolk.

A generous legacy left to All Saints Parish Church by the late Joan Ayden, who lived in Thornage and was a regular worshipper at the church, has also helped fund the improvement work. A donation of £1,500 was given to the Church Council by Tesco.

Have you got a community project that could benefit from funding?  See our Big Society Fund webpage for more information.

Work starts on Mundesley multi-use games area

Work has started to construct a brand new multi-use games area (MUGA) in Mundesley.

26 August 2014
Work set to start on Mundesley MUGA

The MUGA is the final phase of a four part development project, led by Mundesley Youth and Community (MYC), which has turned a piece of disused land, owned by Mundesley Parish Council, into a community hub for residents and visitors. The first three phases of the project have already been successfully completed, providing a children’s play area, skate park and outdoor gym.

North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) Big Society Fund panel awarded £45,000 towards the project in March 2013, and in April 2014 MYC announced that they had successfully raised the full £121,650 cost. In addition to the Big Society Fund award, other funding bodies include Sport England Inspired Facility Fund (£50,000), Victory Housing Trust (£5,000), Mundesley Golf Club (£2,000), Geoffrey Watling Charity (£2,000), Shell UK - Bacton Gas Site (£2,000), North Norfolk Youth Advisory Board (£500), Norwich City Football Club Fans Community Cash Back (£500), Tesco (£500) and a staggering £14,150 has been raised by Mundesley Youth and Community through local fundraising.

Wyndham Northam, NNDC Cabinet Member said: “Big Society Fund awards are granted to enable local communities to take greater ownership for their immediate area and am delighted to see that in action in Mundesley.

“The development of the MUGA is a wonderful example of a community coming together and working closely with other groups for the benefit of local people. The transformation of the disused land has been remarkable, and as a great addition to the children’s play area, the skatepark and the outdoor gym, the MUGA will be a wonderful community asset for everyone to enjoy.”

It is anticipated that the MUGA will open in mid-October.

For more information on how to book or use the new MUGA facility, please visit www.mundesleyyouthandcommunity.org.uk

Southrepps community benefits from Big Society Fund award

Southrepps children and their families can now enjoy new play equipment thanks to a grant from our Big Society Fund.

22 August 2014
Southrepps to benefit from Big Society Fund award

Two very popular ‘nest swings’ have been installed; suspended from large timber frames the nest swings provide great swinging fun for lots of children to enjoy all at the same time!

The swings were funded by a £5176 grant from NNDC’s Big Society Fund which has awarded grants totalling almost £900,000 to over eight community groups in the last two years for a range of projects that have been making a significant difference to the people of North Norfolk.

The Big Society Fund award has contributed to Southrepps Parish Council’s fantastic fundraising efforts which have enabled them to provide £47,000 worth of play equipment, together with fencing and signage, creating a safe, welcoming and fun environment for the local community to enjoy.

The Big Society Fund was set up in 2012 to help build strong communities in North Norfolk. In the last two years the Fund has awarded grants totalling almost £900,000 to 80 community organisations across the district for a range of projects that are meeting local needs and are making a real difference to communities in North Norfolk.  Do you have a project that could benefit from funding?  Check our Big Society Fund webpage for more information.

 

One of world's largest mammoths walks again

A life-sized animatronic mammoth has taken its first steps on the North Norfolk beach next to where the most complete and best-preserved skeleton lay undiscovered for around 700,000 years.

14 August 2014
Mammouth walks the beach at West Runton

The four-metre high skeleton of steppe mammoth, Mammuthus trongontherii, was discovered in 1990 and has been brought to life over four months for the Norfolk Museums Service. The model, with articulated limbs, is made with aeroplane plywood and pine.

“The beautiful skeleton is too delicate to display so I dreamt of making a life-size model as a way for people to experience its magnitude," says the museum service’s Suzie Lay.

She had previously used a bamboo cane to show the height and set aviation engineer Jeremy Moore to the construction job.

“It was built in a hangar and, until the practice at a secret location, we weren’t completely sure the doors were big enough for it to make it safely outside,” says Lay.

North Norfolk District Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure Services, Glyn Williams says: “As well as 45 miles of beautiful coast, an area of outstanding natural beauty, the mammoth highlights that we have millions of years of rich natural heritage - making North Norfolk a first class tourist destination.”

As well as the mammoth itself, the excavation completed in 1995 revealed a wealth of information about the ancient environment in which it lived that set the palaeontology world alight.

“The detail from accompanying fossils including plants, beetles, fish, frogs and many mammals made the discovery of the West Runton mammoth pretty well unique,” said director of the excavation Professor Tony Stuart from Durham University.

Green Flags hoisted again in North Norfolk

Holt Country Park, Sadler's Wood and Pretty Corner have again been named among the best open spaces in the UK.

13 August 2014
Green Flag award winning Holt Country Park

Each site has won the right to fly the prestigious Green Flag for 2014/2015.  It is the tenth year in a row that Holt Country Park has earned a Green Flag for being welcoming, safe, clean and well-managed.

In 2005, the country park was the first in Norfolk to win a Green Flag - an award that demands year-on-year improvement for the status to be retained. A new ‘wildlife garden’ has recently been added to the park. Designed by our countryside rangers and members of Holt Day Services, it contains a range of ‘themed’ plant beds and offers visitors a peaceful and tranquil spot to enjoy the many wildlife species that thrive there.

Holt Country Park was joined by Sadler’s Wood, just outside North Walsham, when it achieved a Green Flag in 2012, and then by Pretty Corner Woods the following year. Pretty Corner was awarded a Green Flag on its very first application, which is very rare and a clear acknowledgement of the excellent work that is being carried out by our staff and dedicated local volunteers.

The award, handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to visitors that the space boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

Sheringham west prom cafe - open for business

We are delighted to announce the re-opening of the west prom cafe 'Tidal Wave' in Sheringham.

13 August 2014
Tidal Wave cafe in Sheringham open for business

Sheringham seafront, including the cafe, operated by Ian Roper, suffered significant damage following the storm surge in December 2013.

Major structural work to the Lees slope was necessary before work to refubish the cafe could take place.

The cafe has been fully refurbished internally and externally with a number of improvements that have been designed to improve the cafe's resilience in the event of any future flooding.

Handing the keys over to Mr Roper, NNDC Leader, Tom FitzPatrick, said: "Council officers have worked very hard with contractors, Thrower and Rutland and Stead, Mutton and Griggs to manage the repair work in such a short period of time.  The cafe looks great and I am sure residents and visitors to Sheringham will be delighted to see it up and running again."

Exciting new sports activities coming to a venue near you!

We're officially launching our Sport England funded 'Sports Hubs and Clubs' project in Holt on 12 August.

08 August 2014
Sports clubs and hubs

We're secured £211,512 of National Lottery funding from Sport England's Community Sport Activation fund.  The funding will help deliver an exciting new project, ‘Sports Clubs and Hubs’, across the district over a period of three years.

The project will start in September when we'll be offering a varied selection of exciting activities ranging from martial arts to street dance. Each will be offered at a fantastic price of £1 per session for a period of ten weeks. Activities will take place in NNDC’s three community sports centres in Cromer, North Walsham and Stalham, Places for People leisure centres in Fakenham, North Walsham and Sheringham and in various community settings across the district.

The diverse range of activities have been designed to attract members of the community who have difficulty in gaining regular access to sports facilities and to encourage more people to take up sporting activities at times and in places that are more convenient for them.

We are looking forward to sharing the details of the full programme in early Autumn.

Cromer Pier – Refurbishment programme planned for tidal surge-hit facilities

A programme to refurbish Cromer Pier’s box office, gift shop and the restaurant following the significant damaged caused by December’s tidal surge will begin in early September 2014.

31 July 2014
Pier facilities to undergo refurbishment programme

Work has been completed since the surge to make significant structural repairs to the areas underneath the box office, gift shop and the restaurant which will now allow for a full refurbishment programme of both facilities. These areas felt the full force of the storm as waves hit the sea wall and were propelled up underneath the structure.

Our iconic pier had already been the subject of extensive, £1.4million renovation and repair in the 18 months before the surge struck; work which potentially saved the structure from far greater damage.

The repair work will begin in early September to minimise disruption to visitors during the peak summer period and is expected to take eight weeks to complete. The pier will remain accessible for the duration of the works.

A temporary box office has been up and running since the beginning of May. Located at the pier entrance, it is open daily from 10am – 6pm.

Flower meadow for Cromer office

We have started to transform a large grassed area at the front of our Cromer offices in to a wild flower meadow.

24 July 2014
Cromer office meadow

It is anticipated that the meadow, which is expected to take 18 months to become fully established, will become a wildlife haven for a variety of birds, bees, butterflies and other assorted wildlife.

The area has previously been a home to a colony of common blue butterflies and a number of bee orchids, a small, pretty orchid that mimics a bumblebee visiting a pink flower, and it is hoped that creating the meadow will encourage these particular species to return and attract others to thrive.

Born from a desire to make savings to its grounds maintenance contract, the idea to create the meadow will not only serve to reduce the Council’s grass cutting bill, it will provide an attractive environment for visitors to the Cromer offices to enjoy.

A process to kill the grassed area is now underway in preparation of planting wild flower seeds in early September.

We want you on our team!

We are looking for north Norfolk based sports coaches and activity instructors to join our coaching register.

24 July 2014
Outdoor football at Cromer

Following the announcement that we've received over £200,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Sport Activation Fund, we are encouraging people to join our coaching register to help deliver forthcoming sports projects to communities throughout north Norfolk.

We are committed to increasing sports provision for people who currently have difficulty in finding local sports and exercise facilities and we will be offering a selection of non-traditional activities such as martial arts, dodgeball and street dance.

We are also seeking to add to our pool of volunteers and are keen to hear from you if you are interested in gaining experience in the sports and leisure industry.  You do not need previous experience to take part. It’s a great opportunity to gain valuable skills, meet new people and help others. All that’s required is lots of enthusiasm!

For more information about how to become a volunteer or to join the coaching register, please contact our Community Sports Manager, Colin Brown on 07917834960 or email colin.brown@north-norfolk.gov.uk

Trimingham community prepared for emergencies

Trimingham residents have been presented with an emergency plan and pack to help them be better prepared in the event of an emergency.

24 July 2014
Trimingham residents prepared for emergencies

We're encouraging people to consider forming local emergency teams to provide leadership and support for their local community in any future emergencies.  Residents from Trimingham, Potter Heigham and Walcott have signed up and we are looking forward to hearing from other communities who want to be better prepared.

Any member of the community can volunteer to act as a Community Emergency Coordinator. The role involves putting together a simple resilience plan by gathering information which may be useful to a community in the event of an emergency. The plan might include a map, lists of vulnerable people, a coordination or meeting point, a note of those with specialist skills or equipment (e.g. doctor, builder, owners of 4x4 vehicles) and any notable risks within the community.

We'll provide a free emergency pack to communities that create their own their community resilience plan. The pack incudes wind-up radio, torches, high visibility vests and other useful items. An enhanced pack is offered to communities when they have undertaken an exercise with the full support of the Council’s Civil Contingencies team.

We are happy to arrange meetings and workshops where residents interested in community resilience can network with other teams and gain help to create their own plans. Funding for those interested in setting up a community resilience group may be available through the North Norfolk Big Society Fund.

For more information and for advice, support and guidance on how you can make your community more resilient and better prepared to handle emergency situations, please contact NNDC’s Civil Contingencies Team on 01263 516172 or our community resilience webpage.

 

Wildlife garden officially opened at Holt Country Park

We'd like to invite visitors and residents to enjoy peace and tranquillity at a newly designed 'wildlife garden' at Holt Country Park.

24 July 2014
Opening of wildlife garden at Holt Country Park

Designed by our Countryside Rangers and members of Holt Day Services, the garden was officially opened at Green Flag award-winning Holt Country Park by Leader, Tom FitzPatrick.

The garden contains a variety of different ‘themed’ plant beds including heathland, dry stone, butterfly, colourful flowers, bog, sensory and woodland climbers. Plants and flowers have been sourced from other areas of Holt Country Park and from local suppliers, Natural Surroundings and Edgefield Nursery.

A rockery, giant bee home, mini beast house, honeysuckle hut and mini wild flower meadow also feature within the garden. All have been added to encourage the presence of many different wildlife species.

The wildlife garden has been situated at the start of an ‘easy access trail’ and is ideal for visitors who prefer a short stroll through the woods and to sit peacefully among the butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.

For more information about Holt Country Park you can visit our countryside web pages which also offer information about other award-winning green spaces in north Norfolk.

Best of Big Society Fund award-winners revealed

Individuals, businesses and projects that have made an outstanding contribution within their community were congratulated at a special awards ceremony held at The Atrium in North Walsham.

07 July 2014
Big  Society Fund awards - credit: Mark Whitmore

Hosted by Trevor Ivory, North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) Chairman, a specially invited audience joined finalists and guests to see awards presented in four categories:
• Outstanding contribution to the community by a local business
• Outstanding contribution to a Big Society Funded project
• Outstanding contribution by a young person to a Big Society Funded project
• Community project of the year

The awards were set up to recognise exceptional projects and exceptional people in conjunction with its Big Society Fund. Since the council set up the Big Society Fund in 2012 nearly £900,000 has been awarded to over 90 different projects. All of this is supporting local projects such as these, initiated by local people and meeting local community needs.

The finalists and winners in each of the categories are

Community Project of the Year
North Norfolk Community Transport - FINALIST
The Voyager Project - FINALIST
The Erpingham and Calthorpe MUGA (multi-use games area) - WINNER

Outstanding Contribution to the Community by a Local Business
The Cockerel, North Walsham - WINNER
Trunch Corner Store and Post Office - FINALIST
The Lighthouse Inn, Walcott - FINALIST

Outstanding Contribution to a Big Society Funded Project
Pam and David Connell-Hart (Cromer and District Foodbank) - FINALIST
Bob Cumber and Sylvia Levete (Sheringham and Cromer Choral Society) - FINALIST
Doreen Wright (Poppy Centre Trust Charity Shop) - FINALIST
Dawn Hulbert (Edgefield Village Hall) _ WINNER
Jim Whiteside (Norfolk and Suffolk 4x4 Rescue) - FINALIST

Outstanding Contribution by a Young Person to a Big Society Funded Project
Jacob Thornberry (Aldborough Community Centre) - FINALIST
Adam Lingwood, Rory Singleton, Craig Prior (sadly deceased February 2014) (Fakenham Rugby Club) - WINNER
George Warner (West Runton Scout Group) - WINNER
Robert Murphy (The Atrium) - FINALIST

The evening came to close with a special award, presented by EDP Editor, Nigel Pickover, for 'an outstanding contribution to the community following the tidal surge in December 2013.

Lisa Grice, NNDC’s Housing Team Leader (customer services), Damien Woods (not present) and Richard Cook, NNDC’s Civil Contingencies team, were recognised for being ‘instrumental in ensuring that the Council’s response to the communities following the surge was both effective and compassionate’

Steve Bullimore, Landlord of the Lighthouse Inn, Walcott and his staff were awarded in acknowledgement of their commitment to help others following the surge. Steve and his staff “offered comfort and a safe and friendly environment for those who were evacuated during what was an extremely worrying time for residents as they waited to hear whether they could return to their homes.”

Leading by example on apprenticeship scheme

Two apprentices in our Council Tax section have been rewarded for their efforts by being granted full time posts within the team.

07 July 2014
Apprentices

Brianne Neale and Kristian Cubitt both started an apprenticeship with NNDC in July 2013. The government-supported scheme aimed to provide them with an NVQ level 2 and Technical Certificate in Business Administration from Easton and Otley College as well as providing mentoring and experience in the work-place. Both are now reaching the end of their training and qualification and in recognition of how successful they have been, both have been offered full-time positions within the council-based team; Kristian as a permanent Revenue Officer, while Brianne has accepted a fixed term contract to March 2015.

Brianne, 18, from Sheringham, decided ‘A’ levels were not for her as she was looking for a qualification that was much more closely related to the work-place.

“I’ve friends who have got degrees and are now struggling to find a job,” she said. “What really attracted me to this apprenticeship was that it provided practical experience alongside a qualification. I have really enjoyed it; the people here are great and I’m delighted I can stay on once the apprenticeship is over.”

Kristian, 23, from Cromer, left school without any real idea of what he was going to do and worked as a labourer and in local cafes and restaurants.

“After a few years I realised that I wasn’t going anywhere as far as work was concerned, and I wanted to do something about that.  This apprenticeship offered me both an opportunity to develop my skills and a real chance to build a proper career."

Cllr. Russell Wright, NNDC Cabinet Member for Business Enterprise and Economic Development, said, “The council promoted the benefits of apprenticeships to the local business community at a very successful event at Davenport’s Magic Kingdom recently. The apprenticeship scheme is not only excellent for the young people involved, but also in terms of building their long-term commitment to working locally, and in building the skills capabilities of the wider north Norfolk community as a whole. I can only wish them the very best of luck for the future.”

eastlaw triumphs at prestigious national award ceremony

Our legal team, eastlaw, has been named the best Legal Services team in the UK at a prestigious annual local government awards organised by The MJ.

20 June 2014
eastlaw scoop national award

eastlaw saw off competition from five larger local authority legal teams at the ceremony which took place in London before almost 1,000 people last night.

The eleventh annual awards were presented by comedian Hugh Dennis, the star of popular BBC sit-com ‘Outnumbered’.

The award recognises and rewards a council legal department which ‘demonstrates exceptional value for money’ for the council ‘through their contribution and innovation’.

The concept of eastlaw was developed by NNDC’s legal team itself, to deliver services both in-house and on behalf of external clients. Aiming to combine the best aspects of public sector practice with the efficiency and dynamism of the private sector, eastlaw has been particularly successful in acting as the legal arm of NNDC’s drive to bring empty homes back into use, in setting up the coastshare group to help charities and other not-for-profit organisations, and in greatly exceeding the income target for its first year of operation.

Cllr Tom FitzPatrick, NNDC Leader, said “I am delighted to see eastlaw be crowned the best Legal Services team in the UK. The team work tirelessly to deliver value for money services with professionalism and innovation and thoroughly deserve the award.

“eastlaw shows how the law can be used imaginatively for the benefit of the Council and local community. They provide a first class legal service of which I am immensely proud”