A classic car event has been forced to cancel its meetings on the coast due to council fees. 

For the last 18 years, East Coast Pirates has met on the first and third Sundays of every month outside Joyland American Family Diner on Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth.

But now the group's organisers have said their next meeting, on Easter Sunday, March 31, could be their final one.

The decision comes in response to new hire charges imposed by Great Yarmouth Borough Council - which the club said would make their meets unaffordable.

Eastern Daily Press: Great Yarmouth Borough Council is introducing new fees and charges to plug a £2.2m deficit.Great Yarmouth Borough Council is introducing new fees and charges to plug a £2.2m deficit. (Image: Denise Bradley)

In a bid to make the last meet memorable, they are calling on all enthusiasts to join them in a grand send-off, showcasing their classic vehicles and bringing vibrancy to the seafront for one last time.

"Let’s show Great Yarmouth what they will be missing," they said.

"This is so so sad and [rips] our hearts out to be announcing this with these new hire charges now in place for council land we have no choice as we don’t want to charge anyone anything."

The council is introducing the new charges as part of efforts to boost its finances in order to plug a £2.2m deficit.

The fees are scheduled to begin on April 1. For small commercial events of up to 500 people, the cost is £300, with an application fee of £60.

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East Coast Pirates was started 18 years ago by Steve Skinner, who runs it along with his wife Miranda.

The group has thanked "everybody for the support for us, the diner and all the money we have raised for various charities over the years".

Previously, a spokesperson for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: ‘’The council has recently set the annual fees and charges for 2024/25, which now include rates for events on council land.

"The fee is calculated according to the size of the event and which classification it falls into."