£1.3m scheme to restore Great Yarmouth’s Venice-inspired Waterways unveiled
- Credit: Archant
In its heyday it was one of the most beautifully planted seafront gardens, feted nationwide for its bright colours.
However, decades of indifference have seen Great Yarmouth's Waterways wither and fade to become a wilted shadow of its former self.
Now, fuelled by a resurgence in nostalgia for all things seaside, a £1.3m scheme to restore the gardens has been unveiled – with the first images of what they could look like being presented to the public.
Under the restoration, the gardens will be returned to their former glory and be as historically accurate as possible, with exuberant planting, pergolas, walkways and general refurbishment.
The designs have been drawn up following a trawl of documents and original records from the 1920s which reveal a flamboyant garden described as 'beautifully bizarre and wonderfully Yarmouth'.
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The Grade II-listed park is said to be 'absolutely unique' and to be held in high affection locally with many people remembering various schemes to make something of the attraction – often on a shoestring budget.
Details of what is envisaged at the 7.5 acre site are being set out at a consultation day on Thursday with family fun activities, and a rallying call has gone out to local folk to attend and have their say as further proof to the Heritage Lottery Fund of its importance to the town.
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Great Yarmouth Borough Council, the owner, is working with the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, a registered charity, to bring back some of the attraction's original, vibrant splendour.
Darren Barker, projects director for the trust, said: 'The park itself is absolutely unique, there is nothing like it anywhere in the country and it has the last concrete purpose-made boating lake in the country. What we do not want to do is ruin its uniqueness or put anything in there that will detract from it.'
It is hoped work will start in 2017.