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Dereham High street to level up

Dereham High street to level up

Published by Grace Marner
12:54pm 12th September 2019.

The former home of the Dereham Times is evolving.

A new video gaming café will move in as a result of a Breckland Council initiative which aims to help reboot the high street.

Level Up will offer gamers access to the latest games and consoles. They'll also be able to play against other players online. 

Cllr Paul Claussen, Deputy Leader of Breckland Council welcomes the new Level Up team to Dereham High Street
Cllr Paul Claussen, Deputy Leader of Breckland Council welcomes the new Level Up team to Dereham High Street

It's after Breckland Council agreed an innovative deal which aims to support the new independent business to establish itself while simultaneously creating a new community hub in the town.

Breckland Council owns the property and is taking the opportunity to trial a new approach as part of its Market Towns Initiative, a council programme which funds schemes to support the district's towns to thrive.

The first few months are usually the most challenging for a new business. That's why Level Up will get a grant from the council over the first 6 months so that it becomes established on the High Street. 



The building will also become a community hub and will host workshops for local residents. 

Cllr Mark Robinson, Breckland Council's Executive Member for Community, Leisure and Culture, commented: 

"It is great news for local gamers, but it is important to us that the deal also benefits the wider community too. That's why the café will also become a community hub. This is just one of the ways we're trying to give our high streets an extra life."

Level Up will be owned and run in partnership between Alex Chenery and David R Mays who say the games café idea had been well-received by locals, however they had faced difficulties in turning it into a reality before the council stepped in.

games console


Alex said:

"People I've spoken to have all been really excited about the idea and think it would be a good asset for the town.

"We are thrilled to finally be getting our exciting new video gaming cafe installed and hope it will be a refreshing addition to Dereham high street, for families and gamers of all ages.

"We can't thank the Regeneration team at Breckland Council enough for recognising the difficulties we have faced securing a potential property and supporting our project 100%. 

"We genuinely thought, after 15 months of trying, it was a dream that was never going to become a reality. We're now ready to hit 'play' and we really hope the Dereham community is too." 

Having recently agreed a lease of the property Alex and his business partner are currently looking to fit-out the shop with a view to it opening in late September, watch out on social media for further updates. 

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