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Plans to restore building dubbed a ‘seafront cathedral of light’ move forward after council vote

PUBLISHED: 20:48 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 20:48 28 November 2017

The 80-metre long display, surrounding the Grade II-listed Winter Gardens, on South Beach Parade, features beautifully-shot historic photographs, tourism posters from different eras and fascinating facts.

Picture: James Bass

The 80-metre long display, surrounding the Grade II-listed Winter Gardens, on South Beach Parade, features beautifully-shot historic photographs, tourism posters from different eras and fascinating facts. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2016

Exciting plans to restore a ‘seafront cathedral of light’ have moved forward thanks to a council vote.

An artist's impression of the design options for the first floor at the Winter Gardens. Photo: Great Yarmouth Borough Council An artist's impression of the design options for the first floor at the Winter Gardens. Photo: Great Yarmouth Borough Council

A bid will now be sent to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) asking for cash to renovate the Winter Gardens on Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s policy and resources committee voted on Tuesday night to submit proposals before the Friday deadline and allocate £200,000 from reserves to draw up more detailed plans.

If the bid is a success, the initial funds will be matched on a pound for pound basis by the HLF.

The council should find out next spring if it has been successful, giving the green light for the authority to develop plans before submitting a second bid to the HLF for over £8m to carry out the works.

An artist's impression of what the ground floor could look like at the Winter Gardens. Photo: Great Yarmouth Borough Council An artist's impression of what the ground floor could look like at the Winter Gardens. Photo: Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Described by heritage experts as a people’s palace of glass and steel and a seafront cathedral of light, it could re-open as a ‘temperate greenhouse’ in 2023.

MORE: Take a look back at these archive photos of Great Yarmouth’s Winter Gardens

The building has fallen into a state of disrepair since it closed almost a decade ago.

The derelict glass house, a Grade II* building that is considered “at risk” by Historic England.

They show a mixture of “multi-purpose end uses” to include education, conference and entertainment in a “temperate plant house.”

Artists impressions submitted in support of the bid show an abundance of green with a cafe and classroom.

According to the timetable the council can expect to find out in April next year if they win stage one approval under the annual “major batch” fund.

If successful the £12,400,582 project could be finished and ready to open in February 2023.

The report seen by the committee stated: “It is proposed that the established vision is of a restored, celebrated, animated and loved Winter Gardens, known nationally as an exemplar project and making a measurable difference to the lives of local people and communities.”

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