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  1. Updates on Friday, 8 July 2016
  2. Romanian shop in Norwich damaged in overnight arson attack
  3. More than 1,000 people take part in anti-Brexit protest outside Norwich City Hall
  4. Mars opens new £6m offices at King's Lynn factory
  5. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

By Kate Williams

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

Our main story today has been the arson attack on a Romanian shop in Magdalen Street in Norwich.

Fire crews were called to The Village Shop at about 02:45 after glass was broken and an incendiary device thrown in.

A crowdfunding page set up just over eight hours later, with the aim of raising £500, has already reached £16,536.

Scroll down to read more on this, and the other stories making the news across Norfolk today. 

Weather: Dry tonight and but rain tomorrow

Chris Bell

BBC Look East weather

Staying mainly dry through this evening and tonight lows of 12-14C (mid-50s F).  


Mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain through the morning, clearing around midday leaving most places dry and a little brighter into the afternoon with highs of 23-25C (mid-70s F).

The chance of some heavy showery rain spreading during the evening and overnight.

More details on the BBC Weather website.

Bishop of Norwich urges people to 'unite and condemn' arson attack

The Bishop of Norwich has issued a statement following this morning's arson attack on a Romanian shop in the city's Magdalen Street.

The Right Reverend Graham James said: "While we do not yet know what motivated this arson attack, it is part of a disturbing pattern of similar events across the country where various ethnic minorities seem to have been targeted. 

Bishop of Norwich

"It is shocking and deeply depressing that such violent and hostile attitudes are being given such expression in the wake of the EU referendum.

"The reputation of Norwich as a place where 'strangers' have been welcomed over centuries is one to be treasured. I hope everyone in this fine city will unite both in condemning this attack and also building bridges with their neighbours wherever they come from."

Six charged over brawl involving 30 people

BBC Radio Norfolk

Six people have been charged in connection with a brawl involving 30 people in Norwich. 

The police were called to the disturbance on Motum Road in June. 

The charges include affray, criminal damage and possessing offensive weapons and the six are due to appeari in court in September.

Devolution leaflet to be sent to hundreds of thousands of Norfolk homes

Andrew Sinclair

BBC Look East political correspondent

A consultation is being launched today into plans for regional devolution.

Under the proposals, Norfolk and Suffolk would share a directly-elected mayor who would have new powers over spending and planning in the two counties. 

Copy of leaflet
Norfolk County Council

There would also be more money from the government for tranport and economic development. This leaflet explaining the plans is being sent to homes in the county.

There's also a website which explains how it could work.

New Norwich deal for Dorrans

Rob Butler

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norwich City midfielder Graham Dorrans has signed a new three-year deal at the club.

The Scottish international has made 44 appearances for the club, scoring three goals.

The Norwich squad are currently training at the St George's Park complex in Burton. They play their first pre-season match of the season tomorrow against Walsall behind closed doors

Graham Dorrans
Getty Images

British Superbikes arrive in Norfolk

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Snetterton hosts round five of the British Superbike Championship this weekend. 

It will be one of the biggest meetings of the year at the south Norfolk track with tens of thousands of fans expected for the races on Sunday as well as qualifying on Saturday.

British Superbikes at Marham

In the build-up to Snetterton some of the bikes have been at RAF Marham in Norfolk. The base is the home of the RAF Regular and Reserve team which competes in the series.

Arson attack: Well-wishers offer messages of love, support and free labour

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Message of support have been posted on the Just Giving page set up to help the owners of Romanian store The Village Shop in Magdalen Street, Norwich, after it was targeted by arsonists.

Poppy Collison wrote: "I am so angry about this attack. I hope that you can re-open soon and that you know it is a few mindless fools that feel this way not the majority. 

Village shop banner above door and window

Glyn Thomas wrote: "The people that run this shop are friendly and hard-working. My wife, who is originally from Bucharest, and I love the authentic Romanian food from there. Please contact us and we will donate our time, to help put the shop back in order by way of free labour."

And Sooty Smith wrote: "We are not all opposed to people from other nations making their home here; please never, ever think that. This is a horrible thing to happen to you but hopefully a rare event."

Teenage girl dies in collision on A1065

One of the two pedestrians hit by a white lorry on the A1065 at West Lexham this morning has died, say police.

The teenage girl was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other pedestrian, a woman in her 50s, was taken by air ambulance to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, where she remains in a critical but stable condition.

The road has now reopened.

Hewett into semi-finals at Wimbledon

Cantley's wheelchair tennis star Alfie Hewett is through to the semi-finals of the doubles at Wimbledon.

He and his partner Gordon Reid beat Gustavo Fernandez and Joachim Gerard 6-3 6-2.

Fundraising target Norwich Romanian shop hit by arson smashed in hours

A crowdfunding page set up for the people whose shop was subjected to the arson attack in Norwich has smashed its target in a few hours.

The Just Giving page was set up at 11:30 this morning, with the aim of raising £500. A short time ago, the total had reached £12,817.

Gv from scene this morning

A neighbour who set up the page, but preferred not to be named, said she had been over to speak to the owner of the shop and learned she had no insurance to repair the damage. 

She said: "Whether it was a hate crime or not, this person is in a country that she wasn't born in; she didn't grow up here, she needs a friendly hand, she needs to know that her neighbours are thinking of her."

Of the response, she said: "It's been quite astonishing."

Hewett and Reid take first set

Rob Butler

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Norfolk's Alfie Hewett and his partner Gordon Reid have taken the first set 6-3 in their wheelchair tennis doubles quarter-final match at Wimbledon.

Gustavo Fernandez and Joachim Gerard are the opponents. 

Alfie Hewett
Getty Images

Police keeping 'open mind' over Magdalen Street arson

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Police say they are keeping an "open mind" about the arson attack which took place in the early hours of this morning in Magdalen Street.

Police outside the Village Shop this morning

Police say an unknown person or people threw a brick through the front door window before starting a small fire.

Two people were in the flat attached to the premises but got out unharmed. 

Scene outside the Village Shop this morning

Det Ins Chris Burgess of Norwich CID said: "We are aware of suggestions this may have been a racially-motivated incident and whilst there is currently no information to suggest this to be the case, we will of course keep an open mind.

"We are treating this as a deliberate ignition, an arson, at this stage and the investigation is ongoing.” 

Clive Lewis on arson attack: 'We mustn't rush to judgement'

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis says although the arson attack on a Romanian shop in Magdalen Street  is very concerning, there should be no rush to judge what happened before investigations are concluded. 

Writing on his Facebook page, he said: "After I heard of this, my first concern was for the well-being of the people living on the premises and those running the shop. So my staff and I have focused on getting reassurances that everything that can be done to help is being done.

Clive Lewis
Clive Lewis

"Local police have told me that they are taking this incident and its potential implications very seriously. 

"Today they will visit Magdalen Street to offer reassurance to owners of other business and local residents - a process which will involve a local officer of Eastern European origin using their language skills to connect with as many local people as they can."

Great Yarmouth athlete organises event for one last Olympic chance

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Shot putter Sophie McKinna is so keen to qualify for the Olympics that she is staging her own event this weekend in a bid to make it to Rio. 

The 21-year old from Great Yarmouth needs to throw 17.75m to achieve the qualifying standard. 

Sophie McKinna
Getty Images

With time running out before the Great Britain team is selected, McKinna has decided to organise a one-off event at the UEA Sportspark in Norwich on Saturday morning at 09:30 and wants a crowd to turn up to cheer her on. 

Mars' new state-of-the-art office facilities to be opened later

Richard Haugh

BBC News

Mars Food UK's new state-of-the-art office facilities, built last year, are being opened by the Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss this afternoon.

The building features a "living green roof", gymnasium and canteen, as well as meeting rooms aimed at helping boost employees' well-being and engagement at work.

Ms Truss, the MP for South-West Norfolk, said: "Around the world, Britain is rightly seen as a great place to invest with our £100bn food and drink industry renowned for high quality produce and forward looking innovation.

"This significant investment by Mars is a real vote of confidence in Britain as a place to do business, creating jobs locally and helping drive economic growth for the nation."   

Mars to 'upgrade infrastructure' at King's Lynn plant

Richard Haugh

BBC News

Mars Food UK has said it will also upgrade the infrastructure at its King's Lynn plant as part of its £23m investment at the site.

Michael Ryan, regional president of Mars Food for Western Europe and Russia, said: "We have been manufacturing from this site for over 50 years and continue our commitment to investing and growing the site." 

Mars factory

Mars 'to invest £23m at factory site'

Richard Haugh

BBC News

Mars Food UK says it is investing £23m in its King's Lynn factory, creating 28 new jobs at the plant, which already employs about 300 people.

Mars food factory

The investment is part of the company's plans to produce its Uncle Ben's Ready to Heat rice line at the factory.

The announcement comes as the company officially opens its new £6m offices at the factory on the Hardwick Industrial Estate.   

Mars, which has been based in the west Norfolk town for 53 years, says its new production line will be completed early next year.

Pro-EU protesters 'touched' by support

Felicity Simper

BBC Look East

Just over 56% of people in Norwich voted to remain in the European Union.

A huge crowd gathered last night to show how they felt about the national decision to leave.

One of the rally's organisers, Emily Cutler, told the assembled crowd: "It really has touched me how many of you have come out today to support our futures." 

More than 1,000 turn out for Brexit protest

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

More than 1,000 people gathered outside Norwich City Hall last night to protest about the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

It was organised by students who want to make sure young people's opinions are heard as the country negotiates its way out of the EU.

Norwich was the district in Norfolk, Suffolk or Essex where a majority voted Remain.

Brexit protest, Norwich

Watch: Arson attack on Norwich Romanian shop

Here's a look at how things were in Magdalen Street in Norwich this morning, after the arson attack at a Romanian shop. 

The attack is being investigated by police. Fire crews were called to The Village Shop in Magdalen Street at about 02:45 after glass was broken and an incendiary device thrown in.

Cantley teenager gets second Wimbledon chance

Chris Goreham

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Alfie Hewett starts his campaign in the men's wheelchair doubles at Wimbledon later after being knocked out of the singles yesterday. 

The 18-year-old from Cantley lost 6-0, 6-4 to Belgian second seed Joachim Gerard on court 17 in the quarter-finals. 

Alfie Hewett
Getty Images

Hewett teams up with fellow Brit Gordon Reid in the doubles. The duo are also expected to play together at the Paralympics in Rio later this year. 

Passer-by on arson attack: 'I feel ashamed to be British'

Jo Thewlis

BBC Radio Norfolk

A passer-by I spoke to this morning told me she felt "ashamed to be British" and very sad about the attack on the Romanian store in Magdalen Street.

Laurence Wild said: "I'm wondering if it's got anything to do with all the anti-European tone of the Brexit debate. What a pity - it's becoming so cosmopolitan down here, and I'd like to see that carry on.

"I'm really sad. That whole referendum - not just the result, but the debate around it - it was really shocking. I feel ashamed to be British."

Police said they had yet to establish a motive for the attack.

Woman in flat 'really scared' during fire

Jo Thewlis

BBC Radio Norfolk

Maria Burgea, who works at The Village Shop and was sleeping in the flat above the store when the fire started, said via a translator that she was "really, really scared".

Andreea Abraham and Maria Burgea

She said she didn't know what to do, or where to go, when she saw the "big fire in front of the main door" but left through the back door.

She escaped unhurt. An investigation is under way.

Police: No motive established for arson attack

Kate Williams

BBC Local Live

Norfolk Police has confirmed it is treating the fire at the Romanian shop in Magdalen Street as arson, and not a racially-motivated crime. 

A spokesman said: "At the moment it's been recorded as an arson. We will investigate it fully as that. 

"If a motive is established then we may change the offence classification."

FA Cup draw

Rob Butler

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

Finally, here are the local fixtures in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary round:

  • Fakenham Town v Sleaford Town  
  • Godmanchester Rovers v Great Yarmouth Town
  • Holbeach United v Swaffham Town
  • Harrowby United v Thetford Town
  • Peterborough Sports v Gorleston  

Ties to be played on Saturday 6 August.

FA Vase draw

Rob Butler

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

And here are the local fixtures in the FA Vase first qualifying round:

  • Great Yarmouth Town v Bourne Town
  • Gorleston v Wisbech St Mary
  • Diss Town v Team Bury

Ties to be played on Saturday 10 September.

FA Trophy draw

Rob Butler

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

The FA Trophy Preliminary Round draw has been made. Here are the fixtures featuring Norfolk teams:

  • Brightlingsea Regent v Dereham Town
  • Wroxham v Godalming Town
  • Norwich United v Tooting and Mitcham United

Ties to be played Saturday 8 October.

Store owner's daughter: 'We don't feel welcome here'

Jo Thewlis

BBC Radio Norfolk

Andreea Abraham, the daughter of the owner of the arson-hit store, said her family and friends no longer felt welcome in Britain.

She said: "Everyone that I know, I can say on behalf of them, that we don't feel really welcome - me, my friends and family," she said.

Asked if she had felt that way since the EU referendum vote, she said: "Well, before that it was a bit, just a bit, but now we can feel it even stronger... but on the other side there are some British people that love us."

Cordon outside shop in Norwich hit by arsonists

She said a female neighbour had arrived with a bunch of flowers after the vote, saying that she wanted the family and the business to stay. 

Another British man told them he would always buy from their store as he wanted the family to remain in the country. 

Arson attack: 'Maybe it was a British man who doesn't like us'

Jo Thewlis

BBC Radio Norfolk

The daughter of the owner of the Romanian shop hit by arsonists has told how the family had been affected by the attack.

Andreea Abraham said: "You can imagine that we don't feel really well. Someone had to be really, really mean to do this. 

"I don't want to say anything but maybe it's to do with the referendum, with all the East Europeans - and our shop is East European, mostly Romanian."

She said there was a Romanian sign outside the shop. "So possibly... maybe it's someone, from, I don't know, maybe a British man who doesn't like us. 

"I came here to study, and my mum came here to do business while I'm studying. We want to feel all right here, but no, we can't."

Serious accident closes A1065

BBC Travel

A serious accident has closed the A1065 in West Lexham in both directions.

It's between the B1145 junction and the Newton Road junction. 

Daughter of shop owner: 'We put everything into it'

Jo Thewlis

BBC Radio Norfolk

The daughter of the owner of the Romanian shop attacked by arsonists in the early hours of this morning has been telling me the family put "everything" into the business.

Andreea Abraham 23, said: "We put everything into it: our money, our soul, everything. It's our business."

The family have been running this shop in Norwich since February and have another store in Ipswich, open since last year,

Asked how she felt, Ms Abraham said: "Well, what can I say? When I know that someone did this, it wasn't an accident."

Concerned neighbours saw flames and shouted to wake woman

Jo Thewlis

BBC Radio Norfolk

One of my colleagues from the Eastern Daily Press has been here since around 07:30 this morning and spoke to the woman who was inside the flat above the shop at the time. 

She said she was woken by people from the local kebab shop who saw the fire as they were still open at the time.

They started shouting to wake her, and the first she knew of the fire was when the window actually crashed on to the pavement in front of the shop.

Burnt-out shop 'quite a sad scene'

Jo Thewlis

BBC Radio Norfolk

Half of Magdalen Street in front of The Village Shop, which has a Romanian flag in the window, is cordoned off by police.

Investigators outside scene of fire in Norwich

It's quite a sad scene. The entire front of one side of the glass frontage of the shop is on the pavement. 

I spoke to the fire service this morning and they said the window had been pulled out but one of the people I spoke to at the scene said it actually fell out with the strength of the fire. 

'Incendiary device' landed among foodstuffs in Romanian store

Jo Thewlis

BBC Radio Norfolk

On the front of the building you can quite clearly see a hole in the glass door which leads to the shop.

The fire service says an incendiary device - they don't want to specify what exactly what - was thrown through and landed in some of the foodstuffs of the shop. 

They tell me it wasn't a huge fire, and that somebody was inside the building at the time.

Fire service confirms arson attack

Norfolk Fire Service says the front window of the Romanian shop in Magdalen Street has been broken, and something flammable thrown in.

The scene of the fire in Norwich

Station manager Luke Hancock said: "A window had been broken and pulled out into the street. A small arson device of some kind was put into the shop and a small amount of food was destroyed."  

Arson attack on Romanian shop

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

An arson attack at a Romanian shop in Norwich in the early hours of this morning is being investigated by police.

Damaged shop

Fire crews were called to The Village Shop in Magdalen Street at about 02:45.

A woman was inside the building at the time but managed to get out safely.  

Today's weather: Patchy rain, brighter later

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It will be a cloudy, warm and muggy start with outbreaks of rain across the region, which will be heavy in places at first.

Drier and brighter conditions will spread east from mid-morning, with the afternoon seeing some warm sunny spells and perhaps the odd shower.

Maximum temperature: 22C (71F). 

Hello and welcome to Norfolk Live

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

Good morning. We'll be keeping you posted with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather affecting the county until 18:00.

Today, we'll have more on the news that Mars Food is to invest £23m in its King's Lynn plant, plus pictures from last night's anti-Brexit protest outside Norwich City Hall.