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Odeon and Travelodge sign up to be part of Great Yarmouth’s large casino complex

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 May 2012

Pleasure Beach owner Albert Jones' proposed Edge centre on wasteland next to the Pleasure Beach on South Denes.
Casino, Bowling Alley, Cinema, Hotel, Bars and Restaurant.

Picture: James Bass
Copy: 
For: EDP News
Eastern Daily Press © 2010  (01603) 772434

Pleasure Beach owner Albert Jones' proposed Edge centre on wasteland next to the Pleasure Beach on South Denes. Casino, Bowling Alley, Cinema, Hotel, Bars and Restaurant. Picture: James Bass Copy: For: EDP News Eastern Daily Press © 2010 (01603) 772434

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2010

WORK on ambitious plans to “put the Great back into Great Yarmouth” by creating a large casino, eight-screen multiplex cinema, hotels and popular high street restaurants will begin by the end of the year, according to the man behind the vision.

It was announced last Friday that Pleasure Beach boss Albert Jones had won the town’s large casino licence after a five-year battle.

The £35m project, The Edge, will see a large casino, hotel, restaurants, multi-screen cinema and 600-space car park built South Beach Parade between the Pleasure Beach and the Outer Harbour. Travelodge and Odeon have already signed up to be a part of the project.

Mr Jones, managing director of Pleasure and Leisure, dedicated the successful bid to his father, Jimmy, who died in March. His company went up against local rival Patrick Duffy who owns the Palace Casino in Church Plain.

Mr Jones spoke in detail this week about his grand plans but admitted: “I was surprised when I found out we had won the licence. I wasn’t confident. We received our point-scoring the week before and were concerned with some areas of it. You could get up to 1,500 points for deliverability but we only scored 475.”

Applications were also assessed on jobs created and benefits to the town. Mr Jones estimates around 300 full and part-time jobs, including a number of apprenticeships, will be created.

“I have been working on this project to get a scheme on site for 12 years. We have had planning permission and the freehold for the site for five years. Apart from a bit of fine-tuning we are very advanced. The plans have come out the way I wanted. It’s not an easy site because it’s long and narrow. We wanted to take advantage of the lovely views.”

Mr Jones anticipates building work will start by the end of the year, though a contractor has not yet been appointed. He said: “Part of the development will go on the south end of the Pleasure Beach and work will start as soon as we close in October. We need to relocate the monorail but we won’t lose any of the attractions.”

The casino, cinema, 80-room Travelodge and restaurants will be built first. The second phase will see a luxury four star 150-room hotel built on the site.

“We are dealing with The Restaurant Group which operates Nando’s and Frankie and Benny’s. The final list will be decided later. Original plans included a bowling alley but bowling has taken a downturn in the economic climate. Although we have not ruled it out completely,” Mr Jones said.

Although Pleasure and Leisure can operate the casino themselves, they have been approached by a number of gaming firms.

Mr Jones said: “We have casinos in town already but this will be a new type of gaming experience. There will be live entertainment and restaurants and a spa so it’s an evening or a day experience.”

“The first large casino has opened in Stratford and I understand it has been trading really well. The Edge will be a scaled-down version of a Las Vegas casino. It will be a relaxed, controlled environment.

“We held meetings with Community Action for Responsible Gaming (CARG), Samaritans and Gamcare to make sure that we have procedures in place.”

Mr Jones hopes the new complex will encourage more people to spend their weekends in Yarmouth. He added: “I am very grateful to people for their support and from the businesses in town - the Yarmouth Racecourse, the Sealife Centre and Yarmouth Stadium. Without their support we would not be where we are today.

“I am very excited about it. It will put the Great back into Great Yarmouth.”

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11 comments

  • Why is it called The Edge? Maybe they could market it as "The Edge of the world in the Land That Time Forgot"

    Report this comment

    chris

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

  • Bravo joeross2010.What an excellent statement.It totally sums up this folly.

    Report this comment

    wes1975

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • joeross2010, I think you missunderstand what the point of a hotel is... Local residents don't use hotels, tourists and holidaymakers use hotels.

    Report this comment

    lpeek

    Saturday, May 5, 2012

  • Sadly the Great Yarmouth of old has become a tacky ongoing nightmare of poverty,joblessness and serious drug problems.How installing a casino is going to solve all this and restore prosperity to the resort is beyond me!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

  • so yet again another playground for the well off in yarmouth..... does anyone really think that joe average in yarmouth will be able to afford to use these facilities?..we have the marina centre that hardly anyone uses anymore due to the admission costs!..we have the casino's that are only really used by the chinese and business people in yarmouth, and as far as travel lodge is concerned, why would any local resident want to stay there if they have a home in the town?...as for creating jobs...the construction jobs will go to the big building contractors who will use cheap european labourers and tradesmen, and the day to day running of the complex will just be the same as the pleasure beach...minimum wage for the summer season and skeleton crew for the winter months...i agree with ann about putting more pressure on struggling guest houses and hotels, just another white elephant!!, like the promised outer harbour bringing ferries and tourists from belgium, france and holland etc....as for looking "pretty"...the entrance to yarmouth is still a blot on the landscape!!...so people will travel through our rundown, derelict ghost-town centre, past all the closed shops and pubs, admiring the vast amount of charity shops and european cafe's, to get to our abandoned seafront...along the deserted promanade to eventually arrive at the "attractive new complex" ?????. wake up and smell the bulls*!t...

    Report this comment

    joeross2010

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • 1. Yarmouth needs far better transport links. Even the railway station is in the wrong place.

    Report this comment

    I LoveNorfolk

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • "WORK on ambitious plans to “put the Great back into Great Yarmouth” __ That will never happen. Whoever thinks this is living in cloud cuckoo land

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • joeross.. you got it in 1.. completely agree wiyh you.. and I ask you this... how long will it be until this complex looks run down and un-inviting just like the pleasure beach?

    Report this comment

    marshall

    Saturday, May 5, 2012

  • The railway station is in the right place - next to the railway.

    Report this comment

    trainman

    Saturday, May 5, 2012

  • 2. Yarmouth should have lots of nice new apartments over-looking the beach. The view would make them highly desirable and so would bring people with money to the town, which would then give the whole town a boost. You would then see trendy cafes etc. being opened.

    Report this comment

    I LoveNorfolk

    Friday, May 4, 2012

  • Why would anyone going to a large Casino like this want to stay in a Travelodge? Lets go to Vegas with all the glitz and stay in a budget hotel. Holiday Inn at least. As for some of the other comments, sounds like Labour voters, completely clueless.

    Report this comment

    Piranha24

    Monday, May 7, 2012

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