Council bosses in Thetford are continuing to drive the town’s regeneration forward after the official opening of a new bus interchange this week.
The £3.88 million interchange, in St Nicholas Street, was funded by Moving Thetford Forward, a group backed by Breckland Council.
Boosted by a £300,000 contribution from Norfolk County Council, which also funded highways improvements to benefit the interchange, it marks a milestone in plans to bring new jobs, homes and leisure facilities to the town.
Cllr Michael Wassell, leader of Breckland District Council, said: “Opening this fantastic modern new facility marks the completion of a major project and an important step forward in the economic regeneration of Thetford.
“Together with the dualling of the A11, the new bus interchange and the Riverside development will be a real boost for the town.
“It will improve facilities for residents and make the town significantly more attractive to companies seeking to re-locate”.
District and town councillors, including Cllr Wassell and Thetford Mayor Cllr Sylvia Armes, boarded a 1950s coach at the site of the former interchange in Bridge Street.
They were driven to the new facility, built by construction company Kier, which has more bays and electronic timetables.
Three stands with shelters are now in operation, with another two opening at the end of the month alongside a drop-off car park.
The new toilet block, with disabled access, is scheduled to open on March 16.
Toby Coke, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “The county council has invested over £400,000 in improving facilities for those using buses and coaches in Thetford.
“Improved public transport facilities and regeneration of the old bus station site will bring further boosts to the town, following on from the benefits of the A11 dualling completion.”
The move has freed up the Bridge Street site, paving way for the Riverside development which will include a 62 bedroom hotel, three screen cinema, shops and restaurants.
Digital cinema chain The Light announced its intention to move into a facility on the site last week.