A town centre theatre is clamping down on unregulated parking which has limited access to emergency vehicles and disabled visitors.

St George's Theatre in Great Yarmouth has been awarded a £10,000 grant from the government to help improve business, improve resilience and extend its reach and impact.

The grant will be used to install bollards around the theatre, plaza and café to prevent unregulated parking that has plagued the site.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: St George's Theatre and plaza. Picture - NewsquestSt George's Theatre and plaza. Picture - Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)Theatre director Debbie Thompson said: “The cars prevent access for emergency vehicles and disabled people attending the theatre and cause damage to the surrounding surfaces.

"Some drivers also use the plaza as a shortcut to get from King Street to Deneside, which is extremely dangerous.”

In addition to the £10,000 grant from the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), further funding contributions for the work have been offered by the Norfolk Parking Partnership and Norfolk County Council ward councillors Graham Plant, Carl Smith and Mike Smith-Clare.

Work is set to begin in the new year.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: The pavements surrounding St George's Theatre have been a hotbed for unregulated parking for some time. Picture - GoogleThe pavements surrounding St George's Theatre have been a hotbed for unregulated parking for some time. Picture - Google (Image: Google)Councillor James Bensly, Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s portfolio holder for tourism, culture and coast, said: “The interest in the UKSPF culture grants shows the need to continue to invest in our cultural assets and support local businesses.

“The theatre is a fantastic asset for the borough and this funding will not only make the site safer and more accessible, but also provide the opportunity to make the most of the plaza.”

The Grade I-listed theatre, originally commissioned in 1714 as a church, was deconsecrated in 1959 and fell into disrepair until it found a new lease of life in the 1970s as a theatre and arts centre.

Major repair and restoration works began in 2009, with the theatre reopening three years later with a new pavilion café and plaza.

The theatre offers a range of performances across the year, including an annual pantomime. It also hosts theatre groups for children and adults, volunteering groups and events like weddings and other celebrations.