£2.5m Golden Mile makeover unveiled

STEPHEN PULLINGER Striking images showing the dramatic effects of the £2.5m makeover planned for Yarmouth's Golden Mile were yesterday unveiled for the first time.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

Striking images showing the dramatic effects of the £2.5m makeover planned for Yarmouth's Golden Mile were yesterday unveiled for the first time.

Work on the main stretch of seafront from Britannia Pier to St Peter's Road will begin in September and is scheduled for completion by Easter.

Next season's visitors to the resort will find Marine Parade significantly narrowed to allow an extra two-way slow lane to be put in for landaus and road trains.

The whole area will be landscaped with attractive lighting, signs and seating and tree planting.

The work is to be carried out by contractor May Gurney, whose project manager Johan Uys yesterday reassured local businesses there would be minimum disruption.

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He said: "We are still in the early stages of traffic management planning, but it is our intention to keep the road open throughout the work."

The borough council has taken out a £2.5m overdraft to ensure completion of the project, which had looked in doubt when funds ran out on its £16.3m InteGreat regeneration scheme before the main seafront could be tackled.

The vision of the new-look Golden Mile was unveiled as part of a ceremony to celebrate the multi-million pound work already undertaken in the resort, including the pedestrianisation of the top end of Regent Road and remodelling of the area around the Hollywood Cinema.

Lady Knollys, a deputy lieutenant of Norfolk, helped to bury a time capsule in front of Britannia Pier containing plans of the town's regeneration projects, copies of the EDP and Yarmouth Mercury, and aspirations of individuals expressed in postcards to the future, an idea encouraged by the urban regeneration company 1stEast to gauge people's views.

Youngsters from the local Greenacre First and Middle School arrived by road train to hand over a special letter to be buried.

The time capsule will be dug up in 14 years to see how much of the council's "2020 vision" of regeneration has been realised.

Lady Knollys said the Greenacre children would be 23 or 24 when the capsule was brought up.

"Will they have been in further education or training? Will they be living and working in the town? Will they be working in a thriving tourism industry, not just in the summer months but year-round?

"The plans for the future will ensure the answer is yes to all three questions," she said.

Mayor Sue Robinson said the InteGreat scheme had already made a tremendous difference.

"The scheme on the Golden Mile will be important not just for the town but for the whole borough, as the Golden Mile is like the shop window of our tourism industry."

Borough council leader Barry Coleman said photographs were a "dramatic reminder of just how far we have come".

He said following this winter's work up to St Peter's Road, additional phases were already planned to the Pleasure Beach and beyond.