Monday, 19 August 2019 00:00

The Grand Reopening of Great Yarmouth’s historic Venetian Waterways

Written by  David Wiles
Rate this item
(1 Vote)
The Grand Reopening of Great Yarmouth’s historic Venetian Waterways

The Grand Reopening of Great Yarmouth’s historic Venetian Waterways has taken place following a year of major restoration works, with the Boating Lake and Island Café back in use for the first time in about a decade.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council, working with Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust and dedicated volunteers, has led an ongoing £2.7m restoration of the unique Grade II-listed seafront park and tourist attraction, supported by The National Lottery, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and the Government.

First opened in 1928, the park was commissioned by the council as an employment relief programme after the First World War. It was hugely popular with generations of holidaymakers until it declined in the latter 20th century, leading to the loss of historic features and planting in the Waterways, and the draining of the Boating Lake in 2014.

Since restoration started in June 2018, the project has seen the Boating Lake and Island Café faithfully refurbished, the Venetian bridges and thatched weather shelters restored, and volunteers working alongside the new Waterways gardeners to reinstate the original beautiful and bold planting scheme, which was praised at the time by the RHS. 

Major conservation works have included repair of seven bridges, rethatching of four historic structures, planting of 19,500 perennials, shrubs and trees, and positioning more than 500 tonnes of rock and stone. In addition, the concrete-lined Boating Lake basin has been repaired and re-filled with 3,600 cubic metres of water via a dedicated borehole.  

Following the successful reopening of the Waterways site at Easter and the Boating Lake gardens last month, the restored Boating Lake itself and the Café Island reopens today from 2pm to 6pm as part of the Grand Reopening Gala. In addition to other family fun, people will be able to hire a rowing boat or pedalo and take to the water, with the site managed by Access Community Trust, a social enterprise and charity.

The restoration has been funded by a £1.7m National Lottery grant awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, plus further funding from the borough council, New Anglia LEP and the Government.In addition, volunteers have so far contributed 2,000 hours, with the community continuing the restoration over the coming years. 

Cllr Graham Plant, chairman of the economic development committee, said: “The Waterways has regained its magical sparkle thanks to everyone involved and it will improve further still as the restoration continues, the plants mature and the Boating Lake and Island Café come alive again with visitors.

“At 91 years old, it remains one of our most beloved and unique community facilities, tourist attractions and heritage assets – a park that’s by the public, for the public, in its construction, usage and now its restoration. It has been totally transformed, winning a Green Flag Award, and that’s credit to our fabulous funders, dedicated staff and volunteers.

Boating_Lake_historic_postcard.jpg

“As part of our wider regeneration of the seafront, this restoration contributes to a lasting legacy for the borough and the people involved, saving our cultural heritage for future generations, supporting the local economy, boosting civic pride and providing people with opportunities to improve skills and access further training or employment.”

Helen Wilson, Committee Member, England: Midlands & East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We all benefit from spending time outside in the fresh air, and the people of Great Yarmouth are very lucky to be able to enjoy that in the nationally unique landscape of the Venetian Waterways.

“National Lottery players’ money will ensure this seaside park will have a wonderful future, and it is fantastic to see the end result of all the hard work that has gone into regenerating this beautiful green space.”

Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of New Anglia LEP, said: “I’m delighted to see the restored Venetian Waterways open for locals and visitors to enjoy. Tourism and the visitor economy is one of our region’s key assets so it is important that we invest in projects like this which create new jobs, redevelop seafront sites and offer a fun day out for families.”

Discover more about the Waterways at www.venetianwaterways.com Twitter: @WaterwayProject

Waterways_today_-_post_restoration.JPG

Read 789 times Last modified on Sunday, 25 August 2019 22:20

Visit the following businesses

cache/resized/63e21900071359f38dcee4d7581a4c97.jpg
Cleaners R Us East Anglia Ltd
Cleaners R Us East Anglia Ltd is run by Leigh and Russy Cole along with Karen Mann who is the Office Manager. We have been providing a trusted cleaning services in Norfolk and North Suffolk since 2003.  We provide reliable, police checked, ...
Explore
cache/resized/011cc9d6d56b1852e0ecbba33dab26cd.jpg
Arden Kendall
Arden Kendall is an independent firm of Chartered Certified Accountants. The practice has been established in Watton, Norfolk for over 25 years and provides an unbeatable service in all accountancy and taxation matters. The practice is owned by ...
Explore
cache/resized/f1d793b8d861794e67ae01a5536c03b7.jpg
Sirius Training & Certifications Ltd
STC is proud to be recognized as a BRC ATP (approved training partner) and also an approved Highfield Training Centre.STC is a BRC Approved Training Partner, we also deliver Highfield Food Safety & Train the Trainer training courses, all in a ...
Explore
cache/resized/319572a73bc499c30e95d11f5acbb299.jpg
J B Postle & Son Ltd
We are your local independent electrical retailer offering a wide range of products and services which include Plasma and LCD televisions from panasonic, JVC and Samsung. We are a main stockist for Roberts radio and have a huge selection of DAB ...
Explore
cache/resized/e5cd1d04953648bae3fb7423dbd0ab7d.jpg
M+A Partners
We offer a comprehensive and seamless range of accountancy, taxation and financial-planning services to businesses and individuals alike: but what really distinguishes M+A Partners is the way we combine our in-depth knowledge with an absolute ...
Explore
cache/resized/60d2c4df7ca1eb7d700720c5669d0c03.jpg
Emedias
I’ve been designing and hosting websites commercially for over 20 years. I still support many of these clients to this day.   Website Design All websites created are professionally designed and responsive, so will work well across all ...
Explore
benefits banner

Related items

  • Easter reminder: Great Yarmouth is closed to tourists

    Norfolk’s largest coastal resort is running an eye-catching social media campaign over Easter to remind would-be tourists to stay away and safe at home to help protect the NHS and save lives during the coronavirus pandemic.

    While the Easter bank holiday weekend normally marks the start of Great Yarmouth’s season, the message this year from the borough council and tourism businesses is that the resort is closed to visitors, with attractions, seafront car parks and holiday parks shut to the public as part of national social distancing measures.

    The campaign will run over the four days and is aimed at those who might be tempted to break the restrictions by making unnecessary journeys to Great Yarmouth, Gorleston-on-Sea, or the local village resorts, and potentially congregating on the seafronts and beaches.

  • Winter Gardens shortlisted to apply to The National Lottery Heritage Fund

    The project to save Great Yarmouth’s unique Winter Gardens has been successfully shortlisted to apply to The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with the borough council now working closely with a preferred operator to develop the funding application.   

    The Grade II*-listed at-risk landmark, which has dominated the famous Golden Mile since 1904, is a heritage gem of national significance as the UK’s last surviving Victorian seaside cast iron and glass winter gardens.

    Following significant and ongoing project redevelopment, Great Yarmouth Borough Council submitted a successful Expression of Interest to the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Horizons Awards scheme and is through the initial stage of the process.

  • On-site works for new Marina Centre to start in Great Yarmouth

    Redevelopment of Great Yarmouth’s 40-year-old Marina Centre is scheduled to start on Monday, February 3, with demolition crews moving in to clear and prepare the seafront site for construction of an exciting new state-of-the-art Water and Leisure Complex. 

    Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s once-in-a-generation £26m investment will be a major year-round boost to the economy and community for decades to come, acting as a catalyst for potential further investment, whilst supporting health and well-being across the borough. 

    The new Marina Centre will create a truly year-round anchor attraction on the Golden Mile, including a six-lane 25m pool with full disabled access and suitable for competitions and galas, a confidence water area and learner pool with moveable floor, leisure water with fun play features, two water flumes and a splash pad.

  • Updated designs revealed for Market Place in Great Yarmouth.

    Updated unique designs have been revealed for the redevelopment of Great Yarmouth’s Market Place, a key part of Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s exciting vision to regenerate the town centre.

    The investment will see the market facilities significantly improved in the heart of the Market Place, with new units under anarchitecturally-striking canopy, designed to ensure the market is brighter, more inviting and compliments the historic setting.

    This updated design has been shaped over the last 18 months, through public engagement around the initial ideas and original design, followed by individual detailed conversations with the six-day market traders.

  • Great Yarmouth’s Venetian Waterways wins more prestigious awards

    Great Yarmouth’s recently-restored historic Venetian Waterways have gone on to win two more awards only months after opening to the public.

    The £2.7m renovation was led by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, in partnership with Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust and with key support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The main works were completed between June 2018 and August 2019 by community groups, volunteers and the council’s main contractor Blakedown Landscapes.

    The restoration included refurbishing the Boating Lake and Island Café as well as the Venetian bridges and thatched weather shelters and faithfully restoring the planting scheme. After the successful opening of the Waterways site at Easter, the Boating Lake itself and the Café Island also reopened in August with Community Access Trust managing the concession.

Newsletter

© All Things Norfolk 2008 - 2020
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

RT @kosbornphoto: A selection of the #images from my #Lockdown #Fakenham book. Over half the edition is now sold with the remaining copies…