Decision over funding for Queen Mother's Garden revamp delayed

(8/10 Copy Jenkins/ Pulham...)Breckland residents and workers take part in the service held in Dereh

Discussion are ongoing with a view to refurbishing the Queen Mother's Garden in Dereham - Credit: Archant

A council has opted to seek further information over the potential refurbishment of the Queen Mother's Garden in Dereham - before deciding whether to contribute funds to the project. 

Dereham Town Council's (DTC) social and welfare committee agreed to hold further discussions with Breckland Council prior to making any financial commitments.

Pubs, clubs and bars could stay open into the early hours during next year's bank holiday weekend to

The Queen is set to celebrate 70 years on the throne in 2022 - Credit: PA

Last week, it was revealed a revamp of the beloved public space was in the pipeline to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. 

It is hoped any renovation that takes place would modernise the garden and help it to become more accessible to different groups in the town. 

But at a Tuesday (January 25) meeting, the committee raised concerns over a lack of clarity on what the scheme might entail - and who should pay for it. 

The walled garden is owned by a Norfolk-based educational charity, but leased by Breckland Council on a decades-long basis. 

Mid Norfolk parliamentary candidates answer questions at Wymondham College hustings. Harry Clarke, L

Dereham town councillor Harry Clarke - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

Councillor Harry Clarke, who has been vocal in his calls for better upkeep of the facility, said: "I have been keen to see improvements on the Queen Mother's Garden for quite some time. 

"It needs improving and, regardless of whether the Jubilee was taking place or not, it needs bringing up to date.

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"I don't think anyone disagrees that maintenance of the garden is overdue. But I think, as a town council, we would like a bit more information and depth going forward."

Fellow member, Philip Morton, added: "I have not been to the Queen Mother's Garden for about five years and I think I am fairly typical of some of the town.

(6/10 Copy Jenkins/ Pulham...)Breckland residents and workers gather for the service held in Dereham

The Queen Mother's Garden in Dereham - Credit: Archant

"In terms of spending money, what would success mean? I think it would mean getting more people in there.

"If we are not confident of doing that, I would not want to spend too much money."

Chairman Hugh King asked whether members would like DTC to contact Breckland for more information and a business plan.

The committee ruled in favour of the proposal. 


The Queen Mother pictured during a visit to Sandringham - Credit: Archant

Breckland Council said previously that plans were afoot to make the garden more accessible and enhance biodiversity, including with the addition of sensory plants to stimulate residents with dementia.

New picnic benches could also be installed, alongside a freshly-created space for public art.