A pioneering project to safeguard Walton's future has "put the town on the map".

The high street was floundering when the Walton Forum stepped in a year ago.

Three building societies, two banks and the town hall had closed in the previous 25 years, the post office had been on the market for six months with no buyers and the sorting office was for sale.

The forum launched the scheme to save the community post office by turning the redundant sorting office into a nursery.

A band of volunteers pulled together support from the private, public and voluntary centre, raised £633,000 and got the scheme up-and-running in less than a year.

Chairman Roger Evans said: "The award is really good news for the town.

"Representing the East of England in a national competition will put the town on the map and recognise all the good things going on here."

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