Appeal launched to help victims of the Great Yarmouth fire

Regent Superbowl fire, Great Yarmouth: Picture: Moss Pishbin

Regent Superbowl fire, Great Yarmouth: Picture: Moss Pishbin - Credit: Moss Pishbin

An appeal to help victims of the Great Yarmouth fire received its first donations last night. It was launched by the EDP, Great Yarmouth Mercury, Norwich Evening News and Norfolk Community Foundation and followed a successful appeal after a blaze swept Fakenham town centre in May 2014. EDP editor Nigel Pickover said the aim was to provide an immediate 'fighting fund' to help those with desperate needs – and hoped some help could be given as early as next week. He said he hoped between £10,000 and £15,000 could be raised and appealed to the Norfolk business community to help.

Fire at Regent Superbowl in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth. PICTURE: ANTONY KELLY

Fire at Regent Superbowl in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth. PICTURE: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: ANTONY KELLY

'We're looking for donations large and small to build up to the target amount.'

He estimated the appeal was already at the £5,000 mark. Great Yarmouth Borough Council led the way with a donation of £2,000. Council leader Graham Plant, who oversaw the council's emergency response, said: 'Recognising the importance of all the businesses and residents affected and the personal impact on individuals, the council feels that it essential we do as much as possible to support our community and hope that others will share in our concern.'

Graham Tuttle, chief executive of the Norfolk Community Foundation (NCF), said: 'It is often the human cost of events like this that are the hardest to deal with and it is reassuring that at times like this communities come together to help those in need.

'Over the past three years the EDP and the NCF have worked together to launch the major Flood Appeal in 2013 and more recently the Fakenham Fire Appeal. We are pleased to be partnering again with the EDP as they launch their new appeal to support Great Yarmouth and people, whose lives have been turned upside down by this awful fire, to help them get themselves back on their feet.'

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Norfolk businessman and philanthropist Graham Dacre, pledged to support the appeal, saying: 'If people donate small amounts or substantial ones, the pot will rise quickly and we'll be able to provide immediate help where it is needed. Those who have been badly affected by this are in our thoughts and prayers.'

Cliff Jordan, leader of Norfolk County Council, said the EDP's idea to set up a fund was 'brilliant'. He said: 'I am 100pc supportive of that idea. I will see what the county can do to help and will get it on an agenda for the policy and resources committee.'

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