Permission agreed for new heritage centre, flats - and artist's studio

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

The building, on the corner of Regent Road and King Street, dates from 1840, and housed the menswear store Greenwoods. - Credit: Archant

A historic Great Yarmouth building is set to be converted into a heritage centre, along with new flats and, potentially, an artist’s studio. 

The building, on the corner of Regent Road and King Street, dates from 1840, and housed the menswear store Greenwoods - which closed in 2018 and has been vacant ever since. 

Now, Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, a charity that has guaranteed the future of a clutch of otherwise unwanted properties in the area, has stepped in to reinvent the three-storey building, adding another element to Yarmouth’s cultural offer.

The plans were first detailed by the trust when they bought the property in 2020 for about £200,000, using a loan from the borough council. 

Darren Barker, project director at the trust, said at the time of the building’s purchase that the new heritage centre would be interactive and look to maximise the potential of technology in telling the town’s story.

“It’s not going to be a museum,” he said in 2020. 

“It is going to be more of an interactive hub showcasing all of the town’s rich culture and heritage, folklore and superstition.”

In the late Victorian period, the building was home to Yallop’s photographic shop.

Pictures from the period show an attic studio with a wall of windows on the Regent Road side, flooding it with the necessary light.

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The heritage centre will also include a retail element, and above the centre there will be two new flats: one with one bedroom, the other with two. 

The permission granted will allow the building’s attic to either be used as a second bedroom for the smaller flat, or as an artist’s studio. 

The latter possible use aligns neatly with the borough council’s work to put Yarmouth on the map as an artistic and cultural destination, following in the footsteps of seaside resorts like Margate, with its Turner Contemporary art gallery, and Folkestone, which hosts the UK’s largest public art exhibition, scattered across the town. 

The plans were presented by an officer to councillors at a Wednesday meeting of the borough’s development control committee. 

Michael JealPicture: James Bass

Labour councillor Michael Jeal put forward a motion to approve the planning application - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012

After the scheme was explained, Labour councillor Michael Jeal put forward a motion in favour of approval, which was swiftly voted through.