Plans to create hundreds of jobs in Great Yarmouth moved a step closer today after local businessman Albert Jones was victorious in his five-year battle for the town’s large casino licence.

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Mr Jones, who is the managing director of Pleasure and Leisure Corporation, which owns the town’s Pleasure Beach, dedicated the successful bid to his late father, Jimmy, who died in March.

Great Yarmouth borough council licensing committee spent more than four hours considering applications from Mr Jones and Palace Bingo managing director, Patrick Duffy, before awarding the licence to Pleasure and Leisure.

The vision of the new casino complex, which is called The Edge, which will be built next to the outer harbour and will see an investment of more than £35m. Planning permission has been granted.

Mr Jones said: “Pleasure and Leisure Corporation are delighted to have won the casino licence after more than 10 years of hard work.

“I would like to dedicate this success to my late father Jimmy who gave so much support throughout the long drawn out procedure. My thanks also to Karen Hawes of Hawes Price Ltd for her tireless efforts in helping to secure the licence.

“We hope that this will be the start of major investment in Great Yarmouth, create hundreds of full and part-time jobs and boost the local economy. If all goes to plan work should start on site before the end of the year.”

Each bid was judged on a point-based criteria including the impact on regeneration and job creation to any negative effects on problem gambling. The detailed scoring saw Pleasure and Leisure being awarded 2,200 points and Palatial scooping 2,042 points and it is understood the panel followed procedures adopted in Newham, in East London, which decided its large casino operator last year.

Both candidates submitted proposals for 24 hour casinos in the town.

It was announced in 2007 that Yarmouth would be one of only eight locations nationally to have a new-style large casino.

Early interest from a number of companies died during the recession and the battle for the prized licence became a two horse race.

Mr Duffy planned to build a casino “30 to 40pc the size of London’s O2 arena” on the site of his business, Palace Bingo, in Church Plain. His vision of the 3,000 sq ft complex included a casino, arena, multi-screen cinema, a hotel, shops and restaurants.

Chairman of the licensing committee, George Jermany, said: “It was a straightforward, unanimous decision. It was reached fairly. It’s good for the town and if you look at the government criteria for casinos, the first priority was that it must be beneficial to the town.

“It will be open all year round so employment will be improved. They will also use local suppliers so it will boost employment and that is what we need in Great Yarmouth.”

22 comments

  • Dont forget wes, Yarmouths marvellous, silent, overpaid Jobsworh laughingly called a town centre manager says that Yarmouth is booming !. Give this casino thing five years and it will be in the same state as that place laughingly called a pleasure beach !

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    "V"

    Saturday, April 28, 2012

  • I am so pleased to hear that Pleasure and Leisure have been the successful party. It is the right decision. This family have been so loyal to Yarmouth since I can remember. They have consistently invested in this town and have remained through the good and bad times, employing people and attracting holidaymakers to the town and always trying to improve and invest in the future of the town. A huge congratulations to you and good luck for the future. The images of 'THE EDGE' look amazing and should bring some much needed optimism to Great Yarmouth. Well done. Kind regards

    Report this comment

    bdee

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • This will degenerate Great Yarmouth not regenerate it. Yarmouth needs family attractions that will have a positive affect on Great Yarmouth’s profile, not another casino. The residence of Great Yarmouth can barely support their local businesses right now, without staking their hard earned cash on the turn of a card. What a bad decision for Great Yarmouth and all that live there.

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    Tireless

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • Think of all the jobs that could be created by the construction of a warm dry building and charging drug pushers for entrance to sell hard drugs. Street walkers could also ply their trade in comfort and safety after paying quite a high entrance fee. Is being a gambling Mecca the sort of reputation that Great Yarmouth needs or wants? I will take up gambling when I see a bookie or any of his ilk on a bus

    Report this comment

    Yorky

    Saturday, April 28, 2012

  • Congratulations Albert, maybe you could name a room in some part of the casino after dad Jimmy, I feel he would be real proud of you now.

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    loco

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • Ah Wes1975 rears his ugle head again. Travelled the world yet still decided to settle in GY, speaks volumes of the man dont you think??? I think and hope the Casino is only part of what could be an exciting new entertainment complex. Restaurants, clubs, bars, live music venue, cinemas, the possibilities is endless. I'll use it, be easier when the 3rd crossing is in place too. Onwards and upwards i say!

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    MonkeyNuts

    Sunday, April 29, 2012

  • bdee

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • As if this town needs another casino.There are no jobs going in the town.The harbour has,nt worked and the pleasure beach is a sad sight nowadays.You only have to see the empty shops in town and Yarmouth is not like it was years ago.The place was busy with holiday makers.Like someone said on here,,the jobs will only go to the outsiders.Waste of money.

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    jordan

    Saturday, April 28, 2012

  • Congratulations and good luck, its great news for Great Yarmouth

    Report this comment

    B&B

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • What a brilliant idea.A casino in a town which is full of charity shops,mass unemployment,social problems including immigration,hard drug use and alcoholism.Walking through Victoria Arcade last night I counted ELEVEN empty shops.Definately a case of mismanagement there.The casino will be sited up by the Outer Harbour so will be inaccessable to the majority of people unless there is public transport.This is yet another case of Great Yarmouth being so far behind the times and then looking to fix a problem with a very wrong solution.

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    wes1975

    Saturday, April 28, 2012

  • I just wonder how many of these "hundreds" of new jobs will go to locals who have been on the dole for far too long. Not many I would wager. Just loads more outsiders coming to the town putting further pressure on the housing stock. On the up side the casino will boost the service industry, of that there is no doubt; but do we really need another all day all night drinking hole on the seafront which will result in even more problems for the police, our local hospital, social services etc to deal with.

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    BG

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • Just what a (managed)run down area needs.

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    bookworm

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • wes, prehaps you should travel a bit...we were in Luton recently and that town i can tell you is 100% worse than here as are a lot of towns... if only the locals were more positive about thier town, we could make a difference. How many have actually seen the plans? they are investing a great deal of money to change a piece of waste ground into somewhere nice to visit, I for one cant wait to see and visit the finished area...

    Report this comment

    B&B

    Saturday, April 28, 2012

  • Has anyone else noticed that hardly any of the hotel rooms in the plans have a direct view of the beach and sea? This is surely a massive missed opportunity.

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    I LoveNorfolk

    Saturday, April 28, 2012

  • I will never use it, but it is good to see a local business man win the contract. I hope it does well

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    DaveG

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • Travel a bit? Christ,I went around the globe with the Royal Navy,throw in a couple of war zones too (did not include Yarmouth)....

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    wes1975

    Saturday, April 28, 2012

  • A great idea but in completely the wrong place.The marina center should be demolished and it should be put there.Then maybe the other scruffy seafront buisness would be obliged to tidy up their frontage.

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    timmy_two_sheds

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

  • Well done Mr Albert Jones! Creating jobs, makeing the seafront look welcoming and plenty of entertainment! This is what this town needs,I for one cannot wait to see the finished product and yes that end of town is run down so let's just give Albert Jones some credit for doing what he is doing and most of all he is getting people back into work and that speaks volumes to me!

    Report this comment

    lisa sharp

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • I live here and have done so for decades and without rose tints of any shape or form it was the case when I moved back here (I was born here) that one had to go back a considerable distance from "The Golden Mile" before you started to see deprivation, HIMO's, bedsits and run don buildings. Camperdown and Paget Road were the Bee's Knees, if you stayed there you were someone. Now,just look above the restaurants along the front. Their facades, for the most part, are worn, aged and faded, (Even the sign above Arena's door had half the light bulbs out for weeks now), I get nervous walking down parts of King Street,(my wife go down there at all now she feels so uncomfortable) and all the spare rooms are taken up for those in receipt of benefit to make a quick, guaranteed buck (look at the Silver Slipper, The Vikings etc). With regard to the casino the die is now cast and I pray that this comes good because all other plans have not produced what was promised. The problem I can't reconcile is the fact that footfall through the own centre is dropping requiring emergency action from the council to try and rectify it (free parking for two hours, £60000 of new lighting etc). A massive investment like the casino IN the town centre would have helped this no end but, for whatever reason, it's not. I've heard that if Market Gates doesn't find a buyer by Christmas the whole thing will shut so no one will go in there until the uncertanty ends. It does beg the question whether Great Yarmouth town centre is now dead in all but name. I so hope not. I don't wish or mean to sound bleak but this is what I see and hear every day...

    Report this comment

    fester1902

    Monday, April 30, 2012

  • Congratulations on Winning the License, Lets hope there is some provision for live entertainment within the complex, being a town that used to have so many theatres with live entertainment on stage every night to only have 1 that is used for a few weeks a year is a shame, please try to include a stage area in the edge that can draw acts from all over

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    richard pitt

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • The construction of the casino will make a very compelling case for the road to be reopened round the harbour`s mouth. Its the shortest route in for the transportation of construction material and site workers and the shortest route for patrons travelling to the casino. Let`s see how the outer harbour responds to that one!

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    BG

    Friday, April 27, 2012

  • Well.No surprises there then. We will see now how long the existing facilities used by locals and easily accessible all year round from the town centre actually last in the face of "cream off" competition from this new development. Of course I could be wrong, the Hollywood and existing bowling alley could stay open without the holiday trade customers and of course "TheEdge" could be open all year round, could be priced within reach of the pockets of the people of GY and Gorleston and be so good that no one will travel to Norwich for entertainment anymore. Or, the place could be serviced by coach holidays for the retired , unwelcoming to local kids and close in the winter months. Beats me how, with the Pleasure Beach being a run down tatty embarrassment to the town, that the council thought the management would do better with a casino.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Friday, April 27, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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