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| eastern counties


KING’S LYNN – A SUCCESS STORY OF ILLUSTRIOUS HERITAGE AND AMBITIOUS GROWTH


ne of the first Heritage Action Zones in the country, King’s Lynn boasts 462 listed buildings (17 Grade I, 55 Grade II* and 390 Grade II) including Grade I St Nicholas Chapel, England’s largest surviving parochial chapel, Grade I St George’s Guildhall, the largest surviving medieval guildhall in the country, Grade I Hanse House (1485), the only surviving Hanseatic Warehouse in England and Grade I Custom House (1683), designed by Henry Bell and described by Nikolaus Pevsner as “one of the most perfect buildings ever built”.


O ...bringing in private and


public investment to make King’s Lynn the place of choice for businesses, investors, residents and visitors.


The birthplace of Captain George


Vancouver, the Royal Navy officer and explorer, who charted North America’s north western Pacific coast regions, King’s Lynn has a strong trading and maritime tradition that goes back to its membership of the Hanseatic League, a powerful medieval trading organisation, centred on the North Sea and Baltic Sea. King’s Lynn also has a strong


manufacturing tradition too, being home to Frederick Savage, the Victorian manufacturer, whose fairground machinery was exported all over the world and


Thomas Cooper, a prolific inventor and brilliant engineer, whose ground-breaking split bearing that he designed in 1907 quickly became, and still is, the number one split bearing in the world. Today, King’s Lynn is a sub-regional


centre serving a functional economic area of circa 200,000 population that covers the western part of Norfolk as well as parts of northern Cambridgeshire and southern Lincolnshire.


It is home to a cluster of world leading manufacturers such as Bespak (manufacturer of complex medical devices), Palm Paper (state of the art recycled paper


manufacturing facility that is home to one of the largest and most powerful newsprint paper machines in the world), Foster Refrigerator and Williams Refrigeration (top two refrigeration companies in the UK and in the top ten in Europe) and SKF Cooper (world leader in split bearings technology) to name but a few. However, the challenges of an increasingly globalised and competitive world demand continuous and innovative improvement bringing in private and public investment to make King’s Lynn the place of choice for businesses, investors, residents and visitors. In that sense, the town’s story is one of success with significant public and private investments currently under way. Highlights include £50m invested by Palm Paper in a new build Combined Heat & Power energy plant, £40m invested by Bespak in two brand new facilities and £29m by Mars Foods UK in their manufacturing facility in King’s Lynn generating over 300 new jobs. The retail sector has seen significant investment too with Sainsbury’s and Tesco opening two superstores totalling 33,000 sq.m five years ago.


A successful place requires public investment too and more importantly visionary and strong public leadership – King’s Lynn has plenty of both, as the Historic England’s Urban Panel Review Paper (2016) notes:


28 COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MONTHLY 2018


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