Bid to reinvent historic Great Yarmouth tower as holiday destination
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
A converted medieval tower is to be officially opened as part of a cultural heritage conference in Great Yarmouth.
South East Tower, near the Time and Tide Museum, is being tipped as a cornerstone of the resort's reinvention as a cultural and heritage destination.
The scheduled ancient monument - the town wall's only accessible tower - has benefited from a £100,000 transformation and hopes to welcome visitors in the Spring.
Darren Barker, project director, said the re-fit chimed with the town's ambitions to become a centre for heritage tourism.
And conservationists, he said, already had their eyes on North West Tower close to the White Swan pub as ripe for conversion, if the first one proves a success.
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Meanwhile tickets are still available for the all-day conference at St George's Theatre, itself of beacon of regeneration, on Wednesday, November 18.
It's aim is to find ways to make better use of the borough's heritage assets and successfully resolve the conundrum about how to create a year-round resort.
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Sponsored by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, the conference is organised by the newly-formed Great Yarmouth Cultural Heritage Partnership.
Participants will discuss what is meant by cultural heritage, share ideas about how to put the town on the national radar for the arts, culture and
heritage, review what has already been achieved locally, debate the challenges, and hear examples of similar initiatives around the UK.
The conference will include the official opening and tour of the 14th century South East Tower - home until the Second World War to 'Paraffin Nell' and her busy brood of children.
Around 90 conference tickets have already been sold with 40 remaining.
Hugh Sturzaker, chairman of the cultural heritage partnership, said: 'The borough boasts a rich cultural heritage dating back nearly 1,000 years, including the second best
preserved medieval town wall in England, and has wonderful museums, heritage walks and open days.
'We are keen to welcome to the conference anyone who has ideas to share about how the various individuals and organisations can work together to put the borough on the
cultural heritage map, broaden the tourism offer and thereby support the local economy.
Cllr Barry Coleman, the deputy council leader, whose portfolio includes arts, culture, heritage and conservation, said: 'One of the borough council's priorities is to work with champions and partners to gain national recognition for the borough's extensive cultural heritage, which will bring in more investment and year-round visitors, helping to create jobs, regenerate areas and support the local economy.
'Much conservation has already been achieved in recent years, including the refurbishment of St George's Theatre and the repair and conversion of the South East
Tower, both of which will be centre-stage during the conference as monuments to Great Yarmouth's ability to deliver in this field.
'Looking ahead, the borough council has ambitions to restore both the Waterways and the Winter Gardens as tourist attractions.'
Tickets are still available, priced at £10, including a buffet lunch and other refreshments, from the St George's Theatre box office via 01493 331484 or www.stgeorgestheatre.com.