Great Yarmouth town hall becomes wedding venue

FOR 130 years it has hosted dignitaries, discussions and debates and stood as a striking landmark on Great Yarmouth's quayside.

Now the prominent town hall will welcome another timeless tradition after it was granted a licence to host weddings.

The grade II listed building, opened by the Prince of Wales in May 1882, has undergone a �2m overhaul over the last 12 months that has breathed new life into its many rooms.

Council bosses have been keen to turn the building into a wedding venue to further open it up to the public since it underwent its refurbishment.

And after being granted a licence by Norfolk County Council couples can now tie the knot in the council chamber, the supper room, assembly room, Rambouillet room and atrium.

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Jane Beck, head of wellbeing services at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: 'We did have a licence quite a number of years ago then the use of the licence declined and we didn't renew it.

'What we have now are rooms that are so fabulous we wanted to be able to show them off and have a licence for people to get married here.'

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And the hall's sweeping staircase and grand architecture certainly captivated loved-up couples as a potential wedding venue when it opened to the public during the town's Maritime Festival in September.

Mrs Beck said: 'We had a number of people come in saying wouldn't this make somewhere fabulous to get married. We had a number of enquiries on that day and since getting the licence we've already got one firm booking, so we're really pleased.'

Prices to say 'I do' vary from �400 for the grand assembly room with its high ceiling and buffed wooden floor, to �150 for the atrium, which features a new modern glass lift.

But the hall is not only for the ceremony, as newly weds can also chose to have their reception within its ancient walls and, if the weather is bad, take advantage of its impressive double staircase for some indoor pictures.

And its uses are not limited to weddings as the council is keen to advertise it as a setting for other celebrations, such as birthdays and anniversaries.

Mrs Beck said: 'The building has got such a lovely feel about it and has really come alive and I do think it adds a romantic side.'

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