Two years ago, Norwich was named as one of the areas to receive cash from the Town Deal Scheme, as part of the government's flagship 'levelling up' project.

City Hall unveiled eight projects it wanted to deliver to increase employment, build homes and revamp parts of the centre.

With government funding of £25m, the plans focused investment on the historic city centre and an area to the east of the city, earmarked for thousands of new homes.

The projects were first announced by the City Council in July 2020, with the funding awarded in October that year.

Here we round up what the stage the various schemes are all at now....

Eastern Daily Press: Hay Hill, in the centre of NorwichHay Hill, in the centre of Norwich (Image: George Thompson, LDR)

St Giles and Hay Hill

These projects are designed to secure major improvements to two historic areas of the city centre, to make them more attractive to businesses and to visitors.

While few of the changes can yet be seen, there have been significant developments.

This week, the plans for Hay Hill were unveiled, with the launch of a consultation on a proposed makeover for the central square.

The proposals include the removal of controversial statues, including a brain sculpture dedicated to thinker Thomas Browne. Water features, extra plants and a more open space are proposed.

A consultation on the plans is open until March 24.

On St Giles and Upper St Giles, the council wants to widen the pavements to create more space for pedestrians and outdoor dining, though these changes are yet to be seen.

A new pedestrian crossing and extra trees could also be included.

Eastern Daily Press: The Conservatory at Carrow House.The Conservatory at Carrow House. (Image: Archant)

East Norwich Masterplan and Carrow House

This project is one which has been in the pipeline long before the Town Deal Scheme, but has been added to it, in order to secure extra funding and to give it fresh impetus.

The East Norwich Masterplan is a major project to build 3,500 homes and create 6,000 jobs in the areas around Carrow and Trowse.

Plans for the developments have been in the pipeline for years, but there has been recent progress.

Last September, Norwich City Council completed its purchase of the Carrow House complex, which is intended to be developed for office space for small and start-up firms.

And in November, city councillors agreed to move the entire East Norwich Masterplan scheme on to its next stage, which involves setting out the timings and costs.

The scheme covers four sites in the same area of the south east of the city: Carrow Works, home of the former Colman's and Britvic factories; the adjacent Deal Ground and May Gurney sites in Trowse; and the Utilities site between Thorpe Hamlet and Whitlingham.

Eastern Daily Press: St Andrews Hall where the VIP Record Fair will be held.St Andrews Hall where the VIP Record Fair will be held. (Image: © ARCHANT NORFOLK 2009)

St Andrew’s Hall and Blackfriars' Hall

This project is intended to enhance the two sites - known collectively known as the Halls - as major entertainment venues for the city.

Included in the scheme are proposals for a retractable seating system, additional lighting, and screening curtains.

In March 2021, the city council set aside £3.4m over two years for the refurbishment of the buildings

Last year plans for the full refurbishment were said to be in the "very early stages".

Eastern Daily Press: The rear of the King's Arms pub as it looked prior to recent work.The rear of the King's Arms pub as it looked prior to recent work.

The 'revolving fund' project

This element could have one of the most profound impacts of all the projects, but has yet to be fully launched.

It is designed to tackle the issue of long term derelict and underused sites that blight city neighbourhoods, and will help homes to be built on such sites.

Under the project, sites will be bought up using cash from the Town Deal Fund and prepared for development, before being sold on.

The council has also proposed using the fund to cover any costs that could arise from using compulsory purchase orders to obtain sites - a legal process that allows authorities to obtain land or property without the owner's consent.

While we have not seen much progress on this project, that is about to change. Proposed sites for purchase are expected to be revealed later this month.

While residential development is the focus, any vacant city site which is considered to be having a negative impact on its surroundings will be considered.

The total cash pledged for the revolving fund is £5,471,535.

Eastern Daily Press: Townshend House former home of the ITV regional HQTownshend House former home of the ITV regional HQ (Image: google)

The digital hub

Intended to be a new city centre workspace for digital businesses, the hub will sit in the refurbished Townshend House building, once home to the regional HQ of ITV.

Providing around 23,0000sq ft of office space, the authority will use the project to determine the demand for office space in a post-Covid world.

There is space for between 10 to 25 companies and around 200 jobs. The council say they hope to bring the project to the market by autumn 2022.

Eastern Daily Press: Aerial view of the Digi-Tech FactoryAerial view of the Digi-Tech Factory (Image: DAVID KIRKHAM)

Digi-Tech Factory

The only project to have been completed so far.

The £11.4m digital technology facility officially opened at City College Norwich (CCN) in October 2021.

The factory is intended to provide digital skills training in Norfolk and prepare students for future careers in the burgeoning digi-tech industries.

It is hoped this will help fill an estimated 10,000 vacancies in the digital sector expected by 2024.

Eastern Daily Press: City College Norwich, which currently has over 1,500 learners on apprenticeship programmes.City College Norwich, which currently has over 1,500 learners on apprenticeship programmes. (Image: City College)

ACE Centre

The Advanced Construction and Engineering (ACE) Centre is a proposed new technological advanced training facility at CCN

It will focus on supporting the application of digital technology to construction, manufacturing and engineering sectors.

The scheme has been hit by delays due to staff illness and construction industry issues. However, the council still hopes the project will be delivered on time and budget.


This project has a different focus to the others.

It aims to establish Norwich as "the place" for business, and promote the city as a place to live, learn and work.

One component of the project is the creation of a digital platform "Invest Norwich" to attract businesses.

No timeframe for this element has been given, but the council hopes the various different strands of the Town Deal projects will feed into it.