Historic England tours town where it's spending £1.2m
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
It was some of the most unloved and tatty buildings that caught the eye of heritage funders on a walking tour of Great Yarmouth.
Where they saw scaffolding, they saw investment and improvement as they visited buildings set to benefit from heritage restoration projects worth millions.
Lead by Darren Barker, project director of Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, the large group comprising Historic England commissioners, lottery funders and local stakeholders got to see for themselves where their money was going.
Great Yarmouth is one of 90 areas handed Heritage Action Zone status by the Government's heritage wing.
And on Tuesday those involved were meeting for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
Sir Laurie Magnus, chair of Historic England, said he was excited to see everything working so well in Yarmouth which had a good track record for rescuing historic buildings and finding new sustainable uses.
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"There is a fantastic history here and it is great to see the work that is being done in terms of bringing buildings back to life.
"We have some money and can help with research and advice, but the most important thing is getting people to work together - and when that happens I get really excited.
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"There is always more that can be done, historic buildings are expensive to maintain.
"The important thing we are doing here in the Heritage Action Zone is finding new uses for these buildings to give them a future."
They were told about the South East Tower's conversion into a holiday let and stopped to look at 145 King Street, the former Church Rooms which have been purchased by Great Yarmouth Borough Council for the preservation trust.
Walking along King Street they stopped to see the former Greenwoods, earmarked as a heritage centre before going to the Market Pace and seeing the changes there.
Council leader Carl Smith said the aim was to put the "great back into Great Yarmouth" encouraging investment and leaving a legacy for the future.