New art gallery for Great Yarmouth almost ready to showcase talent

Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust is turning the 18th century shop and dwelling into art studios and a new gallery. 



Picture: James Bass Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust is turning the 18th century shop and dwelling into art studios and a new gallery. Picture: James Bass

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
9:30 AM

Art lovers are being called on to help run an gallery inside an 18th century merchant’s house in Great Yarmouth.

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133 King Street - as it was133 King Street - as it was

Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust (GYPT) has almost finished refurbishing the grade II listed building at 133 King Street, transforming the shop that stood empty for 15 years into a contemporary art gallery and studio spaces.

The 133 King Street gallery should be ready to open in April - but still needs an operator to manage it.

GYPT is now inviting proposals from anyone interested in managing the gallery, as well as applications from artists who want to rent the adjoining studios.

“We always knew there was demand in the Great Yarmouth borough for both a contemporary art gallery and cost-effective studio space,” said Bridget Heriz-Smith, GYPT’s finance and administration officer, who is also a professional sculptor.

“There has been strong interest so far from potential tenants. And Great Yarmouth Arts Festival has already booked the gallery for the 2014 Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios, in June.

“This facility, just a stone’s throw from the recently-refurbished St George’s Theatre, will boost the emerging cultural scene in the King Street area – and will be a unique, exciting and inspirational place in which to showcase and create art.”

The building at 133 is on Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s buildings at risk register but GYPT, which now owns the site, has been working with contractor Wellington Construction and two of its own conservation apprentices to sympathetically convert it using traditional methods.

The building has not been modernised or substantially altered since it was a private home in the 18th century, leaving many original features intact.

Councillor Bernard Williamson, chairman of the preservation trust and borough council’s cabinet member for transformation and regeneration, said: “This gallery and studios project will both preserve a building at risk and further the regeneration of the historic King Street area.

“The space at 133 King Street will be cheaper to rent, because as a trust we are able to operate without the need to make a profit. And to encourage an exceptional arts professional to manage the gallery, it is being leased on extremely favourable terms, not including services and rates.”

The refurbished building will include one single-bed first-floor residential unit with studio available for £550 per calender month (pcm), and three artists’ studios, available for £150pcm.

The project is part of the £4m Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) scheme, an area-based conservation-led regeneration scheme for the King Street area, whose centrepiece was the refurbishment of the grade I-listed St George’s Theatre, which dates from 1714.

The THI scheme is funded through sources including the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and the borough council.

42 comments

  • I was born and bred in Great Yarmouth, I have lived there my entire life. I don't see why everything should be done to satisfy the majority of people? Why is an art gallery so offensive to you? Some people will obviously enjoy it, it doesn't harm anyone, it's not costing a lot of money, it's not depriving anyone or anything else of funding as the money is coming from the HLF, EH and rent. It's just unabashed anti-intellectualism that makes Great Yarmouth seem like a hostile backwater. Heaven forfend someone should have some faith in this town and think that people here might want something more than a statue of Jim Davidson or a branch of Wetherspoons.

    Report this comment

    Norfolkadam

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • I can't disagree with that Kevin, to be fair but there's nothing to say that we can't have both. One leads to the other, it goes both ways.

    Report this comment

    Norfolkadam

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Time and Tide? Brilliant. Went there for the first time a couple of weeks ago and loved it. St Georges Theatre? Brilliant. Nice to see a show in Yarmouth and not have to travel to Norwich. Art Gallery? Really? I absolutely hate going in to the town centre. Poor shops (the ones still open) and an unpleasant atmosphere. Hopefully when Pasta Foods leave the town later this year the site will be turned in to a large shopping centre and I will never have to set foot in the town centre ever again.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • I agree it would be great to have both we shouldn't run before we walk. Put a temporary art gallery in the library, maybe use vacant shops in the town centre where there is greater footfall and gauge public response before committing to something people may not want or use.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Once again Mr Castle pipes up with b ully boy comments. Maybe if he took a walk around Yarmouth he would be able to see the state of King Street and indeed Yarmouth. As for negative remarks. Negative i think we all know what is happening to Yarmouth. I think we all know who gets the businesses and houses. We live in a society where the bad get rewarded. But its ok Mr Castle you continue with your blinkered view i am sure you are living well

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • If you want Yarmouth to become 'a really pleasant place to live and work' then maybe actually having some places for people to live and work should take priority over an art gallery.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • I agree it would be great to have both we shouldn't run before we walk. Put a temporary art gallery in the library, maybe use vacant shops in the town centre where there is greater footfall and gauge public response before committing to something people may not want or use.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Try talking to people Castle. After all, you work for the people, or have you forgotten that ?

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Once again well said V. Mr castle forgets his place i realise the only time he ventures down king street and the like is when he either wants votes or there is a free do where something is being opened. What he forgets is. He is there to listen to the people he is there to sort out any greivences the public have. And how does he reply? With a comment about internet trolls. Really? He really helps his case and really helps with voters. You claim to care for Yarmouth mr castle do you not? Well stop actlng like a child. Get out pf your office and see whats going on around yarmouth. Do the people want an art gallery? do they want a theatre? Or do they want affordable home and employment and shops to actually shop in. Sort that out and you get votes. Its quite simple. Stay with your head buried in the sand and expect a backlash

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • You DO require to be lectured as to what it means. YOU work for US not the other way round. Typical Labour arrogance, just like Wainwright. Now he's on the council we dont see or hear from him anymore. Time for new blood on this council and get rid of all the old who have made being on this and other councils a career.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Spooky. Like Kevin said "you cant polish a turd" Successive councils have ignored King street and other places for their pet projects and vested interests on the seafront. It seems they prefer the holidaymakers more than the locals

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • I used my real name and I stand by my statement that it's a waste of money. I think if you asked the residents of the town what would improve their quality of life a contemporary art gallery probably wouldn't be near the top of the list.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • But why an art gallery? Empty shop or empty art gallery. Couldn't it have become a focal point for the local community? Somewhere for families or children of the King Street and Middlegate area to go to learn, for advice, for help and to socialise? Similar to the Portuguese place down Broad Row.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • And apologies my comments have gone on 4 times

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • I have no problem with an art gallery as such but because of it's location it will die on its backside and probably have it's windows smashed on a regular basis. Not anti-intellectualism, just realism. Unfortunately for you the majority do and should get what they want. That's pretty much the basis of democracy. If a minority of people want something then they can pay for it.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • I am glad this building is being refurbished as we have some fantastic architecture in this town and it's a shame to see it in disrepair but I do believe the intended use was ill considered. In a place like Cromer , Southwold or Sheringham a gallery such as this would thrive but this is not one of those places. Unfortunately it's going to be in an unpleasant part of a not particularly pleasant or cultured town. You can't polish a turd but it seems the council are going to try and cover it in glitter and hope for the best.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Great Yarmouth isn't a turd. That's where you and I fundamentally disagree, evidently.

    Report this comment

    Norfolkadam

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Personally i think the art gallery would have been better suited to the top of the tourist information on the seafront, it has a lot of windows which would give off a good aspect of light. Rather than it being sandwiched in between two second hand shops, also walking past the building today it does not look nearly ready to me.

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Once again Mr Castle pipes up with b ully boy comments. Maybe if he took a walk around Yarmouth he would be able to see the state of King Street and indeed Yarmouth. As for negative remarks. Negative i think we all know what is happening to Yarmouth. I think we all know who gets the businesses and houses. We live in a society where the bad get rewarded. But its ok Mr Castle you continue with your blinkered view i am sure you are living well

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • The problem is that it's not as simple as you seem to make out. If this building wasn't preserved and converted into a gallery the money saved wouldn't be used to build a council house or employ a young person it would have gone to another town. It goes without saying that GY has serious issues and needs serious investment but it's not an eitheror situation. It makes me very sad to see that pessimism is so pervasive in the town that even the news that a new cultural venture is ready to open is met with cynicism and dismissal. It's certainly not doing anyone any harm.

    Report this comment

    Norfolkadam

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • The THI scheme, led by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, is funded through a number of sources, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and the borough council.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Be good if Victoria arcade filled a few empty shops too

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Once again Mr Castle pipes up with b ully boy comments. Maybe if he took a walk around Yarmouth he would be able to see the state of King Street and indeed Yarmouth. As for negative remarks. Negative i think we all know what is happening to Yarmouth. I think we all know who gets the businesses and houses. We live in a society where the bad get rewarded. But its ok Mr Castle you continue with your blinkered view i am sure you are living well

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Excellent news for the town and a real turn-up for King Street. I'd love for it to become a really pleasant place to live and work and an art gallery is a great start. So many nay-sayers in this town it really discourages anyone from getting involved in either local politics or cultural events.

    Report this comment

    Norfolkadam

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Once again Mr Castle pipes up with b ully boy comments. Maybe if he took a walk around Yarmouth he would be able to see the state of King Street and indeed Yarmouth. As for negative remarks. Negative i think we all know what is happening to Yarmouth. I think we all know who gets the businesses and houses. We live in a society where the bad get rewarded. But its ok Mr Castle you continue with your blinkered view i am sure you are living well

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • As I have been a Local Councillor for a long time I have learnt to "blank" these pathetic negative comments about anything positive being done in Yarmouth. It is sad these internet trolls don't even use their real names when they dole out their words of wisdom.

    Report this comment

    Mick Castle

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • Spot on Kevin Quinn. End of the day what is it we are after for Yarmouth to be a decent clean.employable,houseable place..surely the priority is to fill the needs of the people in Yarmouth not creating things to try and make the place the more appealing to holidaymakers or trying to make Yarmouth a cultural place rather than having empty shops. Lack of homes. Lack of jobs. Is it Regeneration or Degeneration. Has anyone actually been consulted on what they want for yarmouth or whats best for the place. Personally i do not think empty shops, businesses started by migrants only and no council house list helps yarmouth at all. Councils and goverments are too busy trying to make the place look good on the outside but inside the place is a mess. Its not Negativity its facts.and the fact is the locals are being swept aside time and time again.

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • One wonders how many people will actually go to the Art Gallery, how many are really interested in art, the small art gallery in Victoria Arcade never seems to have anyone in it when I pass it on various days and times and they are showing a lot of art there. The other point is will people really want to walk all the way down King Street to view the art there.

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • I am all for Yarmouth being regenerated but it needs more than a lick of paint and a roadsweeper. How much money has been wasted on projects look at the Tv screen. The outer harbour. The so called king street regeneration full of run down shops and Cafes. The new theatre cafe where outside it is being used as somwehere to skateboard and perform bike tricks.. We need affordable homes in Yarmouth. locals need to be able to start businesses. We need a clean and tidy area to live in. Not tatty shops. Tatty streets where its intimidating to walk around. I hope the gallery is a success but its amongst a myriad of tat

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Funny he claims to "blank" negative comments yet replies anyway.

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Give it six months and it will be an eastern european Cafe.. King street belongs to eastern europe now

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • I don't like swimming so why are we wasting money running the Marina Centre?

    Report this comment

    Norfolkadam

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • May I borrow your rose tinted spectacles? I need to pop in to town tomorrow.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • People and businesses make a town, so come on people of Great Yarmouth help clean it up and bring it back up to scratch so businesses come here and people want to live and work here. Work on your gardens, don't dump rubbish in the streets, stop the fly tipping, stop the spitting out of gum (and other things), take your litter home or find the nearest bin, clean up your gardens, don't let your dogs poo in the streets, wake up, it's your town, back decent projects and idea's, bring life back to Yarmouth.

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Mr Castle states that he has 'been a Local Councillor for a long time'. Perhaps that's the problem and it's time for some fresh blood with new ideas.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • We are all entitled to put our opinion forward are we not. After all WE are the Locals

    Report this comment

    Gorlmouth

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • *cough*Waste of money*cough*

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • As a councillor Mr Castle, don't you think that for the Art Gallery and even St George's Theatre could benefit from being in an area that wasn't full of mini-markets and secondhand shops, these sort of shops etc, don't exactly make King Street up-market do they. I suggest Mr Castle that you take a walk all the way down King Street and look at the state of a lot of the shops, especially the old run-down Bargain Buy shop opposite the Theatre and the Toy shop to the left of the Yarmouth Mercury offices to name two of the worst. Then there's all the chewing gum along the stretch of pavement between Peggoty's and the chemist, most of which is outside the Evolution night club. Clean up King Street, get the shop owners or tenants to repair and paint their shops. I'm being to agree with Gorlmouth's comment. The whole of Great Yarmouth needs a thorough regeneration, I moved here by choice, I've been here nearly 6 years, I like it here but since moving here, I've seen it get worse, not better, it's such a shame it's become so down trodden, no wonder companies don't want to come here.

    Report this comment

    Spooky

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • This may shock you but just because you're not interested in art it doesn't mean that the other 96,999 residents of the borough feel the same way. Like I say, it does no harm and it's something different, something Yarmouth doesn't have. If you feel GY needs a community centre then that can be addressed but it doesn't have to be at the expense of this project.

    Report this comment

    Norfolkadam

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • Also, when you look at it in a broader context this is a winwin situation. The building was being restored anyway (it's a listed building in desperate need of restoration). The GYPT will make money from the artists' accommodation and studios and, instead of another empty shop on King Street we get an art gallery. Would you rather it be rented out to be another minimarket?

    Report this comment

    Norfolkadam

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • As someone who lives and works in the town area of Yarmouth I don't really require lectures on what it means to do so. Regeneration of the town takes time and the heritage side - like Time and Tide, St George's Theatre and a King Street Art Gallery - is just a small part of that. The Enterprise Zone in the South Denes and the construction of Yarmouth's new Premier Inn at the A47 Runham Vauxhall approach are the other side of the coin.

    Report this comment

    Mick Castle

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • I get the impression that you have never actually been to Yarmouth. You honestly think the majority of people who actually live in Yarmouth (I mean proper Yarmouth, Northgate and Nelson not Gorleston or the outlying areas) want or care about an art gallery? What shall we build in the ward that has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the whole UK? I know, an art gallery. Fantastic idea. And although you may not enjoy swimming I can guarantee more people will use the Marina Centre in one day than will use the gallery in a month. I consider that better value for money.

    Report this comment

    Kevin Quinn

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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