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Landscape Partnership scheme given Thetford launch

A £3.3m landscape partnership scheme exploring the Brecks and the area's water links is to have a conference and consultation event in Thetford on March 13.

The event, which will take place between 1pm and 4pm at The Carnegie, in Cage Lane, is to inform about the new Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers (BFER) Landscape Partnership scheme.

The scheme has been awarded initial support and a development grant of £151,100 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help progress plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant of £1.97m in May.

The event will take place between 1pm and 4pm at The Carnegie, in Cage Lane, Thetford, on March 13. Picture: Nick Ford.
The event will take place between 1pm and 4pm at The Carnegie, in Cage Lane, Thetford, on March 13. Picture: Nick Ford.

BFER is hosted by Suffolk County Council and is a follow-on scheme from the successful Breaking New Ground initiative, which ran in The Brecks between 2015 and 2018.

Cllr Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “Suffolk County Council are delighted to be leading on the development of another exciting Heritage Fund bid for The Brecks.

Suffolk has a great track record of supporting these sorts of partnerships, having hosted a number of successful schemes over the past eight years. We hope that this new scheme will bring together everything that we’ve learnt from them to provide long term benefits for the landscape heritage, water quality and local communities in The Brecks.”

The five-year scheme will explore aspects of water in The Brecks, and has key focuses including the engagement of local communities in exploring and celebrating the heritage and natural environment of this unique landscape. It is set to start in 2020 once funding has been granted.

The event will have presentations about the projects planned for the scheme, including river restoration projects, archaeological research, training, heritage crafts skills workshops and a whole host of other engagement activities for all ages.

The attendees will have the opportunity to give feedback and help shape the final form of a number of projects before the submission of the overall scheme to the Heritage Fund in May.

Tina Cunnell, from Thetford Town Council, and chairman of the Partnership, said: “This project will be a great boost for the town and wider Brecks communities, and help create a real sense of identity for The Brecks.

"I’m also really excited that this event will enable us to launch a pilot of community arts activities on the same day, and to start engaging the communities we are going to be working with throughout the project and beyond.”

The event is free to attend and tickets can be booked on Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-brecks-fen-edge-and-rivers-conference-and-consultation-event-tickets-55962981785 or via the short link bit.ly/2TxWEom.

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