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Funding to boost Great Yarmouth’s historic Waterways and Winter Gardens

PUBLISHED: 10:01 01 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:01 01 August 2017

interior of the Winter Gardens at Great Yarmouth, 1960s Archant copyright photo
LIB201503

interior of the Winter Gardens at Great Yarmouth, 1960s Archant copyright photo LIB201503

Archant

They are two of the jewels of Great Yarmouth’s historic seafront.

ENTERTAINMENT; MR B. COOPER AGED 77 OF HINGHAM , ENTERTAINING MEMBERS WITH HIS DULCIMER IN THE WINTER GARDENS; DATED 13TH JUNE 1961; PHOTOGRAPHER COLTON ENTERTAINMENT; MR B. COOPER AGED 77 OF HINGHAM , ENTERTAINING MEMBERS WITH HIS DULCIMER IN THE WINTER GARDENS; DATED 13TH JUNE 1961; PHOTOGRAPHER COLTON

The Waterways and the Winter Gardens have been giving joy to visitors for years.

PLACES / Y

YARMOUTH - BOAT LOAD OF HOLIDAYMAKERS TAKE A TRIP ON THE VENTIAN WATERWAYS

DATE; 24TH JULY 1967
C3887
FOA AUg 2014 PLACES / Y YARMOUTH - BOAT LOAD OF HOLIDAYMAKERS TAKE A TRIP ON THE VENTIAN WATERWAYS DATE; 24TH JULY 1967 C3887 FOA AUg 2014

And now millions of pounds are being pumped into their regeneration.

GY/ENTERTAINMENT
WINTER GARDENS BIERGARTEN DANCING
DATED 1969
PRINT C4429 GY/ENTERTAINMENT WINTER GARDENS BIERGARTEN DANCING DATED 1969 PRINT C4429

Plans for new cinemas, restaurants and a casino have recently been approved and a decision on the long awaited third river crossing is expected by September.

Great Yarmouth  -  Seafront

Waterways Gardens and Lily Pond at Great Yarmouth.

Dated  reprinted  27 February 1961

Photograph  C9930 Great Yarmouth - Seafront Waterways Gardens and Lily Pond at Great Yarmouth. Dated reprinted 27 February 1961 Photograph C9930

Chairman of Great Yarmouth borough council’s economic development committee, Barry Coleman, said: “The borough council is committed to working with partners, including Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund, to conserve, enhance and promote the borough’s rich built heritage as a way of further supporting the local economy and communities.

GY/EVENTS
ROLLER-SKATING COMPETITION - WINTER GARDENS
DATED 1967
NEG 1000
GY/EVENTS ROLLER-SKATING COMPETITION - WINTER GARDENS DATED 1967 NEG 1000

“Great Yarmouth has built a national reputation for delivering on historic buildings conservation, and this is reflected in our success in securing significant external funding for a range of projects over the years, including for St George’s Theatre, Time and Tide Museum and more recently for the Waterways restoration.

GREAT YARMOUTH

TEA - TIME AT WINTERGARDENS AT GREAT YARMOUTH ?

DATED  JUNE 1961

PLATE  P3600 GREAT YARMOUTH TEA - TIME AT WINTERGARDENS AT GREAT YARMOUTH ? DATED JUNE 1961 PLATE P3600

“The Waterways Restoration Project is well underway, with work on-site due to start in spring, and we urge people to remain patient while preparation progresses ‘behind the scenes’. Considerable work has also taken place to help bring the Winter Gardens back into use, with the council last week agreeing a £20,000 investment to develop a comprehensive business plan and analysis for a sustainable reuse of the Winter Gardens that reflects this special building’s historical horticultural origins.

GREAT YARMOUTH
WINTER GARDENS
AUDIENCE LISTENING TO A BAND (salvation army?)
NO DATE
PLATE P5350
GREAT YARMOUTH WINTER GARDENS AUDIENCE LISTENING TO A BAND (salvation army?) NO DATE PLATE P5350

“While the council does not own many of the historic seafront buildings, bringing back into use the Waterways and Winter Gardens – both landmark council-owned buildings at either end of the seafront – will support the regeneration of the whole seafront, helping to bring in private sector investment, in addition to boosting the important tourism economy and civic pride.”

GREAT YARMOUTH
WINTER GARDENS UNDER REPAIR SHROUDED WITH SCAFFOLDING
NO DATE
PLATE P6460 GREAT YARMOUTH WINTER GARDENS UNDER REPAIR SHROUDED WITH SCAFFOLDING NO DATE PLATE P6460

Thanks to a grant of over £1.7m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund Parks for People Programme, the borough council is working closely with Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust to restore the Waterways.

TAKE YOUR PARTNERS! The mock Tyrolean Biergarten in the Wellington Pier's Winter Gardens in the mid-1960s when future mayor Harry Miller played piano in Josef Hoffer's orchestra. Picture: SUBMITTED TAKE YOUR PARTNERS! The mock Tyrolean Biergarten in the Wellington Pier's Winter Gardens in the mid-1960s when future mayor Harry Miller played piano in Josef Hoffer's orchestra. Picture: SUBMITTED

First opened in 1928, the Grade II-listed park and tourist attraction in North Drive was commissioned by the council as an unemployment relief programme after the First World War, with the community undertaking its construction.

The Venetian Waterways, as they are also known, became hugely popular with generations of holidaymakers and residents alike enjoying rides in quirky boats with carved wooden animal heads, and walks in the beautiful surrounding parkland, which originally boasted a radical nationally-acclaimed planting scheme.

It is hoped works will be completed in two years time and will bring back 1920s style wooden boats.

There are also plans to grow plants to the original planting scheme.

Once described as a ‘people’s palace of glass and steel’ and a ‘seafront cathedral of light’, it is fair to say the Winter Gardens have seen better days.

The borough council has recently allocated £20,000 to develop a lottery funding bid to renovate the glass house.

The Grade II*-listed building, the second highest level of listing, was built in Torquay, Devon, before being relocated to the east coast by barge.

It was originally built by John Watson and William Harvey between 1878 and 1881 at a cost of £12,783, before it was moved to Yarmouth in 1904.

The borough council’s surveyor at the time, John William Cockrill, helped secure their purchase for just £1,300.

He said: “It would lengthen the season with better class visitors, and on wet days to provide for 2,000 persons under cover.”

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