Old Great Yarmouth buildings given a new lease of life after a lick of paint

The empty former JJB Sports shop, in the Market Place, Great Yarmouth. The borough council is workin

The empty former JJB Sports shop, in the Market Place, Great Yarmouth. The borough council is working proactively towards bringing empty or underused business premises back into use across the borough. Photo: GYBC - Credit: Archant

Empty buildings across Great Yarmouth have been given a new lease of life by the borough council.

The Crystal Inn, in Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth. The borough council is working proactively tow

The Crystal Inn, in Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth. The borough council is working proactively towards bringing empty or underused business premises back into use across the borough. Photo: GYBC - Credit: Archant

Key buildings are targeted and council officers engage with landlords and offer owners advice, guidance and assistance to bring about positive changes and improvements.

A council spokesman said they will not shy away from taking enforcement action where necessary if building owners do not comply.

This work supports the Town Centre Masterplan, adopted by full council in May, which aims to enhance the historic town centre for the 21st century as a destination where more people choose to live, work, invest and spend their leisure time and money.

• The empty former JJB Sports shop, in the Market Place, now has a refurbished shopfront after positive engagement between officers and owners. Landlords carried out key improvements with the support of a grant from the Shopfront Improvement Scheme. The premises is being actively marketed for new tenants.

The empty former Victory Hotel, in Nelson Road South, Great Yarmouth. The borough council is working

The empty former Victory Hotel, in Nelson Road South, Great Yarmouth. The borough council is working proactively towards bringing empty or underused business premises back into use across the borough. Photo: GYBC - Credit: Archant


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• The Crystal Inn, in Northgate Street, was identified by officers due to its prominent position on a gateway to the town centre and seafront. The owners engaged positively with officers, repainted exterior walls and fitted glass into a window that was previously boarded up.

• The empty former Victory Hotel, in Nelson Road South, has been extensively re-painted on the exterior after engagement between the owner and council. The owner has informed the council of his intention to re-open the property as an hotel once its renovation is complete.

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Council leader Graham Plant said the aim is to help bring back into use empty and underused commercial properties for the benefit of the local economy.

He added: 'Business properties are best placed to secure new occupiers, and attract new investment in the area, if they are up to standard.

'Working with landlords, we have already made a good start and are taking a borough-wide view of the issue. The council's approach is to engage positively with landlords to bring about positive change, offering advice, guidance and assistance. These properties are shining examples of what can be achieved.'

To report an empty property you think needs attention call 01493 846100.

Shopfront scheme

For other businesses in the town, there is also funding available to improve shopfronts.

In Great Yarmouth town centre, the council is offering grants to help businesses and social enterprises improve their town centre frontages, as part of the wider Town Centre Initiative to boost the area and economy for people in the town.

Under the Town Centre Shopfront Improvement Scheme, eligible applicants can ask for grants of up to £3,000 to help fund shopfront renovation, decoration, new signage and/or replacement of historic features including lighting.

The businesses must cover 25pc of the total cost themselves.

So far, the council has agreed nine applications totalling nearly £19,000.

Applications remain open for the Town Centre Shopfront Improvement Scheme.

For more information and to apply, visit www.enterprisegy.co.uk/shop-front

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