Further work to be undertaken to secure funding for Great Yarmouth’s Winter Gardens

The historic Winter Gardens in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

The historic Winter Gardens in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2016

A £10m bid to breathe fresh life into Great Yarmouth's seafront Winter Gardens has been boosted by a borough council funding allocation of £20,000.

The building is the last surviving Victorian cast iron and glass coast winter gardens in the country.

It has seen an investment from the council to develop a multi-million-pound funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to bring the grade II listed building back into use as a viable tourist attraction for the town.

As part of the bid Great Yarmouth Borough Council's policy and resources committee has now agreed to invest a further £20,000 to ensure the funding bid is comprehensive and robust.

The money will be used to develop a comprehensive business plan and analysis for a sustainable reuse of the Winter Gardens that reflects the building's historical horticultural origins.

The HLF has a two-stage funding application process and if successful at stage one, the application would unlock funding to further develop the scheme and the submission of a stage two application for the project grant.

Last year, £25,000 was invested by the council in pre-application work which included a full structural survey and repair and reuse costs.

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As well as the further £20,000, the policy and resources committee also agreed to set up a members' working group.

A joint statement from the group leaders at the council, Graham Plant, Kay Grey, Trevor Wainwright and Adrian Myers, said: 'We share the community's desire to bring this cultural heritage gem back into use as soon as possible to support the local economy, and we're backing this up with significant focus and investment. The council regained control of the building in 2014 specifically to bring it back into use.

'Since then, a considerable amount of work has already taken place behind the scenes. Crucially, we have established clearly that the repair and fit-out of the Winter Gardens for horticultural use would cost nearly £10m. The HLF has also visited and provided valuable advice.

'This is a large-scale building of national significance, requiring major external funding. The HLF and other potential funders expect a robust, comprehensive application, one that shows that the scheme is well thought through and viable in the long-term, so this additional work is absolutely crucial.'

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