First glimpse of what refurbished Waterways cafe will look like

A sign has been erected outside the Waterways in Great Yarmouth outlining the planned renovation wor

A sign has been erected outside the Waterways in Great Yarmouth outlining the planned renovation works. Photo: George Ryan - Credit: Archant

Future visitors to Great Yarmouth's soon-to-be refurbished seafront Waterways will have the perfect place to shelter from the winter's worst or enjoy a sunny summer sit-down.

Light and airy: a vision of what Great Yarmouth's refurbished boating lake cafe could look like when

Light and airy: a vision of what Great Yarmouth's refurbished boating lake cafe could look like when the arches are revived and glazed. Photo: Foster Wilson Architects - Credit: Foster Wilson Architects

For new architects' drawings reveal the shape of things to come at the boating lake cafe in the heart of the resort's much-loved Venetian-style attraction.

Blending original 20th century features with a modern drive for comfort and design, distinctive arches that have long been bricked up will be revived and glazed to create a year-round cafe.

Under the scheme submitted to borough council planners the existing timber-boarded ceiling will be retained and painted, and all the re-thatching done in traditional Norfolk reed.

Reviving the island cafe - which will also serve as a kiosk for boating tickets - is a key element of the £2.7m, three year scheme, and one of the few features that requires planning consent.

The Waterways and gardens on North Drive in Great Yarmouth.
June 2016.
Picture: James Bass

The Waterways and gardens on North Drive in Great Yarmouth. June 2016. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2016


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A borough council spokesman said: 'The planning application is an outward indication of the huge preparatory work taking place behind the scenes ahead of on-site work starting in spring 2018, as is the removal of the wooden animal heads, which are currently stored at St John's Church ready to be conserved by volunteers and trainees to be re-used as part of the restoration project in some way.'

Between summer 2018 and summer 2019, volunteers and trainees will work alongside contractors, craftsmen and professionals to reinstate the original planting scheme from 1928, and repair the thatched shelters.

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People will also have the chance to participate in a varied programme of other associated activities, such as researching and a design workshop.

The work will be phased to ensure areas of the park remain open to the public.

Great Yarmouth - Seafront
Waterways Gardens and Lily Pond at Great Yarmouth.
Dated reprinte

Great Yarmouth - Seafront Waterways Gardens and Lily Pond at Great Yarmouth. Dated reprinted 27 February 1961 Photograph C9930 - Credit: Archant

Boats will initially return to the purpose-built boating lake, where they will be available for hire from the refurbished island café.

If there proves sufficient demand, there will be the option to introduce trips to the scenic winding canals.

The community-led project to restore the Grade II-listed gardens is supported with a grant of £1.7m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund.

Further support has come from the New Anglia LEP, and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

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