Yarmouth's National Arts and Circus Centre to open in 2024

The Ice House on Bridge Road in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Danielle Booden

The Ice House on Bridge Road in Great Yarmouth is set to be restored as a National Centre for Arts and Circus - Credit: Archant

The rebirth of a famous Great Yarmouth building as a National Arts and Circus Centre is due for April 2024, officials have confirmed. 

The restoration of town's former ice house is just one of a number of heritage projects to receive money from the government's Towns Fund, of which £20.1m has been allotted to Yarmouth. 

The building - which once provided ice to be packed alongside Yarmouth’s herring exports - is set to be converted into a public performance venue and training space.

Some £450,000 from the Town Deal fund, along with £50,000 of Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s (GYBC) own resources, are to be used for the project, after councillors on the authority’s policy and resources committee voted in favour of releasing the money at a meeting on Tuesday (May 24). 

A council officer confirmed that the National Arts and Circus Centre would be open in April 2024, "if all goes to plan" - and that it will include a riverside bar.

The committee separately approved the use of £626,000 of Town Deal money to restore three further buildings into holiday accommodation.

The first of those - 160 King Street - is almost complete, and will include a restaurant on the ground floor. Once the kitchen has been fitted out, the project will be complete next month. 

The North West Tower next the the River Bure in Great Yarmouth.Picture: James Bass

Great Yarmouth's North West Tower - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

The second, the North West Tower, is due for completion by February 2023, while the third - St John’s Church, is expected to be ready in the first months of 2024. 

An exhibition of of old jumble is set to be suspended from the ceiling at St John's Church, Yarmouth

St John's Church in Great Yarmouth - Credit: Nick Butcher

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St John’s Church will become an indoor camping venue - a practice known as ‘champing’.

Conservative council leader Carl Smith praised the idea as “really fun” and “another offer of accommodation close to our seafront”. 

Councillor Carl Smith, deputy leader of Great Yarmouth Borogh Council. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Great Yarmouth Borough Council's Conservative leader Carl Smith - Credit: Archant

Fresh details also emerged of the plan to create a heritage centre in the former Greenwoods shop at 14 King Street using £232,229 from the government’s Future High Streets Fund.

The Greenwoods clothing store in Great Yarmouth has closed down, but the building is poised for a re

The former Greenwoods shop on King St, pictured prior to its closing - Credit: Archant

According to council reports, the centre "will provide an immersive physical and digital one stop-shop to showcase and signpost enquirers to local culture, heritage and artistic provision" and will “aspire to be open” every day of the week.

It is envisioned that the centre - to be managed by the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust - will allow tourists to discover more about the town's historic features, such as its mediaeval town wall, Tolhouse, waterways and the Rows.

It is not yet known when the centre will open.