It has been a prominent landmark in this coastal town since its Victorian heyday although it has since seen better days.

But now Great Yarmouth's Britannia Pier will be brought into the 21st century after plans for a major facelift were approved.

Owners Joseph Abbott and Joseph Manning, from Triangle Amusements, want to transform the attraction on Marine Parade into a year-round entertainment venue.

Eastern Daily Press: Britannia Pier's owners Joseph Manning and Joseph Abbott.Britannia Pier's owners Joseph Manning and Joseph Abbott. (Image: James Weeds)

The first stage of their plans will redevelop the front of the pier, creating an art deco-style facade that harks back to its glory days at the turn of the 20th century.

Eastern Daily Press: What the pier looks like currentlyWhat the pier looks like currently (Image: Newsquest)

Plans also include more access to the beach and promenade, the removal of an existing single-storey amusements building and the erection of a new enlarged curved roof building.

The bid also contains a change of use of the Sea Chef restaurant into an amusement arcade and a relocation of a food outlet further east of the existing amusement arcade.

Another part of the owners' vision for the venue - not part of the current application - would see the pier lose its existing advertising billboards and be replaced with a digital screen and raised letter signage.

Eastern Daily Press: The proposed elevations for the new designThe proposed elevations for the new design (Image: Paul Robinson)

Great Yarmouth Borough Council development committee members met this week to decide whether to give the new design the go-ahead.

The initial plans were objected to by Historic England, which was concerned that it looked too dark and believed it would harm the conservation area.

Eastern Daily Press: The original design did not go down well with Historic EnglandThe original design did not go down well with Historic England (Image: Paul Robinson Partnership)

It forced the developers to develop a fresh look that officers believe creates a more welcoming environment while keeping a traditional seafront pier look.

However, two Conservative councillors, Geoff Freeman and Ivan Murray-Smith, said they preferred the initial design, with Mr Murray-Smith calling it "far better".

Despite these negative views, councillors approved the revamp unanimously.

Eastern Daily Press: What the revamp would look likeWhat the revamp would look like (Image: Paul Robinson)

Carl Annison, who represents Bradwell South, added: "Great Yarmouth's seafront is in need of investment.

"This council should snatch up any opportunity where people want to make the town better."

READ MORE: Old photos of Great Yarmouth seafront in the 1950s

Tony Wright, chairman of the committee added: "Investment in tourism is most welcome and I look forward seeing how it will turn out."

Councillors voted unanimously to approve the revamp. 

Eastern Daily Press: Britannia Pier in 1956Britannia Pier in 1956 (Image: Newsquest)



The Britannia Pier has been a mainstay on the Golden Mile since 1858. Originally, the venue boasted a 700-foot pier.

However, following a collision with a ship during the Royal Charter Storm in 1859, it was shortened.

The original pier suffered further storm damage in 1868 and was demolished in 1899.

Construction of a new 810-foot Britannia Pier began in 1900 with designs by Joseph and Arthur Mayoh.

Eastern Daily Press: The pier was badly damaged in a fire in 1909The pier was badly damaged in a fire in 1909 (Image: Newsquest)

Many changes took place at the pier following a series of fires in 1909, 1914 and in 1954.

The main auditorium was built during the inter-war period and later commissioned for the war effort.

The current pavilion - known as the Britannia Pier Theatre - has been standing since 1958.

Eastern Daily Press: An aerial view of Britannia Pier in 1957An aerial view of Britannia Pier in 1957 (Image: Newsquest)

The theatre has hosted some of the UK's biggest acts, including Russ Abbott, Jim Davidson and Jimmy Carr.

Eastern Daily Press: The pier's existing frontage (pictured in 1967) has been in place since the mid-1900s.The pier's existing frontage (pictured in 1967) has been in place since the mid-1900s. (Image: Newsquest Archive)

Since purchasing the pier from Family Amusements in December 2022, owners Joseph Abbott and Joseph Manning have added new rides to the end-of-pier theme park, revamped the arcades and installed traditional lighting along the deck.