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Rich history of ancient port town could boost heritage tourism in east Norfolk

10:08 29 January 2014

Saul Humphrey from RG Carter hands over the keys to the newly renovated St George

Saul Humphrey from RG Carter hands over the keys to the newly renovated St George's Theatre in Yarmouth to Trevor Wainwright, leader of the council. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2012

People living in Great Yarmouth are being asked for ideas on how to boost heritage tourism across the borough.

Yarmouth may be better known for its golden sands and seafront attractions, but the town’s rich history is another big selling point and council bosses are now calling on residents to help promote its links to the past.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council wants to update its cultural heritage strategy in light of recent investment, such as the complete refurbishment of St George’s Theatre to the ongoing success of the Tide and Time Museum.

The strategy is a formal plan which will guide the council on how to best invest in and promote the area’s history and traditions from now until 2019.

Bernard Williamson, chairman of the council’s heritage working group, said a key aim was to understand how the borough’s historic buildings, museums and other heritage assets can act as a driver to boost the local economy.

“Great Yarmouth is a thriving seaside holiday resort, which generates about five million holiday bed nights plus about four million day visitors a season,” said Mr Williamson.

“The council will continue to promote our fantastic beaches, great attractions and our varied entertainment, but is looking to expand and develop the tourism offer by shouting a bit louder about the many heritage gems in the borough which are often overlooked by both residents and visitors.

“Once these are pointed out and explained, people are amazed by what we’ve got here.

“Even something as simple as better understanding and awareness among the community of the area’s heritage could help residents to act as informal ‘heritage ambassadors’, proudly encouraging visitors to come and see the sites for themselves.”

Once finished, the strategy will set out action points for areas across the borough, including how to promote the region’s heritage, how to engage the local community in heritage, how to support the maintenance and regeneration of the historic buildings, how to bring heritage to life, and how heritage can act as an economic driver.

The council is also consulting with Norfolk Museum Service, Great Yarmouth Tourist Information Centre, Norfolk Library Service, local history societies, volunteers, and the owners of independent museums and attractions.

Public comments should be emailed to by 5pm on Thursday, February 20.

The final document is due to be adopted by cabinet in April.

Art on the walls of historic Yarmouth merchant’s house


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