Delight as Diss Heritage Triangle appeal hits £50,000

Campaigners behind Diss' Heritage Triangle bid.

Campaigners behind Diss' Heritage Triangle bid. - Credit: Archant

A 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity' to transform a historic part of Diss is a step closer after organisers reached the halfway point in their fund-raising campaign.

The Diss Heritage Triangle development team needs to raise £100,000 from the public by November so it can get its hands on £3million of funding, including cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It has already raised £50,000.

If it succeeds, it will be able to carry out a series of improvements to the area of historic importance, such as a renovations to the Corn Hall, a new public garden and a boardwalk across the Mere.

Organisers say those improvements are crucial as they could help attract 135,000 more people per year to use Diss's shops and cafes, as well as help reduce the number of empty units in the town and lower the turnover of retail tenancies.

The Heritage Triangle covers St Nicholas Street, Market Place and Market Hill.

David Case, from the development team, said: 'This has been a phenomenal start to our fund-raising bid to transform a historic part of Diss and, in the process, provide a massive boost to the wider town and everyone who lives here.

'We have been delighted by the generosity of so many businesses and people within Diss and the surrounding area.

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'It's so important that we keep up the momentum. We can only unlock the pledge for the rest of the funding from the likes of the Heritage Lottery Fund and other trusts if we can demonstrate a real financial commitment from the people and businesses of Diss.

'Help us get to our £100,000 target by November and support a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Diss.'

Mary Jones, of Diss-based 121 Computers, added: 'While our business isn't in the Triangle area, the added appeal of the Corn Hall and the walkway should attract many more people to take a walk in our town and use the local shops – rather than simply drive to the supermarkets and disappear without sampling what Diss has to offer.'

Under the plans, a new foyer, bar and box office would be created at the Corn Hall, with structural work carried out on the Grade II listed facility and repairs to the heating system.

Changes are also being proposed to traffic arrangements around the Triangle, with traffic-calming measures and more shared space between pedestrians and vehicles.

The boardwalk would stretch out across the Mere to Hales Yard, with a floating island behind the Diss Town Council offices, along with two seats and a canopy over the top where people can sit.

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