Bold vision for future of Great Yarmouth puts heritage before candy floss

View of Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth. July 2013.Picture: James Bass

View of Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth. July 2013.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A bold vision could see Great Yarmouth shake off its candy floss reputation to focus on rich history and culture.

The Winter Gardens on Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth.March 2014.Picture: James Bass

The Winter Gardens on Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth.March 2014.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is hoping heritage will help put the area on the national map, as it looks to attract new tourists and more upmarket attractions.

The ambitious plan is part of a 10-page report on how the borough can 'transform' itself between now and 2020.

Despite its dry title, the Corporate Plan sets out a raft of exciting proposals from bringing the seafront Winter Gardens back into horticultural and botanical use around the theme of Victorian explorers and working with the Arts Council to develop an arts strategy for 2016 and beyond.

'Tourism has changed significantly in the last 20 years while the borough's offer of a traditional family holiday experience continues to be in demand, we want to develop a long-term view of how the industry can invest for commercial success and evolve for the future,' declares the report, which will go before full council for approval later this month.


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'This will require gradual evolution of the visitor offer repositioning challenging expectations to attract new visitors and stronger integration of arts, culture, recreation and more.'

The borough council has already worked with the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust to refocus attention on the town's heritage, from refurbishing St George's chapel into a theatre and, as part of an ongoing scheme to turn King Street into a cultural quarter, bringing life back into former merchant homes such as 133 King Street, now a contemporary art gallery with a live-in studio for local artists.

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As well as putting an emphasis on heritage, the plan sets out aspirations for economic growth, housing, transport and more.

It will be presented to councillors at their meeting on July 22. If approved, it will be used to guide council decisions over the coming years.

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