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A new courtyard to revive Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 13:39 21 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:41 03 July 2010

CREATIVE new life is

to be breathed into

the southern part of

Great Yarmouth's seafront thanks to a new £400,000 development.

The Courtyard is aiming to be the new hub for hand-made arts and crafts in the town, attracting locals and tourists alike.

CREATIVE new life is

to be breathed into

the southern part of

Great Yarmouth's seafront thanks to a new £400,000 development.

The Courtyard is aiming to be the new hub for hand-made arts and crafts in the town, attracting locals and tourists alike.

Due to open in May next year, the new space for craftsmen will charge minimum rent and will be located next to Blackfriars Brewery on Main Cross Road.

Its developers, Joe Larter and

Bruce Carter, are transforming the bottom floor of a currently derelict Victorian building into a home for creativity in the area, above which they will also be adding four apartments.

Having previously founded Lowestoft's Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park, Mr Larter, 70, wants to create an open-plan space in which 12 to 15 artisans could work alongside each other.

He said “Bruce and I were going to sell both buildings in October last year when along came Blackfriars Brewery who said they would rent the ground floor if we did it up for them.

“That went well, so I thought why not get some craftspeople in the building next to it and make it a real attraction.

“I want this to be part of redeveloping the area. You might get artists moving in and you could have a real artisan's area, almost like you used to in cities like Paris. It means people could go on the brewery tour and have a pint and then go to

watch the craftsmen, combining the two.”

Between the crafts centre and brewery is the courtyard after

which the project is named. This space, once used for packing herrings and recently the site of SeaChange Art's musical evenings, the

Melting Pot, will be covered by a canvas allowing visitors to relax with a drink before heading into the arts area.

Bill Russell, 56, runs

Blackfriars Brewery. He said:

“I'm very excited about it. I think

it's a tremendous idea and will be a big boost to the area. We are

right at the end of the seafront and with the commitment to development in South Yarmouth it's just what's needed.

“When we started renting it last year we were keen for him to go ahead with his plans to develop the buildings.

“It's a part of the area's

fishing history and in today's climate to have a development like this will give hope and enthuse people. Visitors want to see things which have been made here and not mass produced.”

An open evening will be held on Thursday at which interested parties can look the crafts spaces, or apartments.

Those interested can go on http://the-courtyard.co.uk for more information.

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