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£200, 000 transformation of historic building in Yarmouth inspired by town’s “fascinating heritage”

PUBLISHED: 17:20 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:36 04 September 2018

Renovation of 11, Queen Street in Great Yarmouth. Founder and managing director of the Busworks, Gillian Harwood. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Renovation of 11, Queen Street in Great Yarmouth. Founder and managing director of the Busworks, Gillian Harwood. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A historic building in Great Yarmouth town centre which has over 100 years of history is undergoing a £200, 000 renovation.

London-based company, the Busworks, will transform the two-storey building at 11 Queen Street into a business hub for up to 16 businesses.

Founder and managing director of the company, Gillian Harwood, has cited the town’s “riveting history” and “fascinating heritage” as two major reasons for her investment in Yarmouth.

She said: “I can’t stop talking about the town, it’s a great place. I am hoping to convert the building into a relaxed workspace for young and growing businesses in the area as well as employing local people for management roles.

“I’ve been converting commercial buildings into business hubs since the 1970’s and I absolutely love it.”

Renovation of 11, Queen Street in Great Yarmouth.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYRenovation of 11, Queen Street in Great Yarmouth. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

It is hoped that the renovation will be completed by spring next year.

The building which was built in 1901 was formerly used for arts and crafts but has been empty for the last 15 years.

The Busworks have also had a £3,000 grant from Great Yarmouth Borough Council approved. It comes as part of the borough council’s Town Centre Shopfront Improvement Scheme which is designed to help fund shopfront renovation, decoration, new signage and replacement of historic features in the town centre.

Chairman for GYBC’s economic development committee, Barry Coleman, said: “We have seen some really great applications from a range of businesses and the grants have made a genuine difference.

Renovation of 11, Queen Street in Great Yarmouth.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYRenovation of 11, Queen Street in Great Yarmouth. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“The grants have incentivised private sector investment and supported our wider work to boost the town centre and economy for everyone’s benefit.”

Mrs Harwood is very pleased with the grant and will spend it on making the entrance of the building “as attractive as possible”.

She said: “We are very impressed by the hard work and vision of the borough council in their improvement plans and hopefully we can show what can be done to make a difference.”

The company is also keen to encourage sustainability with them considering the possibility of a rooftop garden as well as the proposed cycle racks for commuters.

Renovation of 11, Queen Street in Great Yarmouth.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYRenovation of 11, Queen Street in Great Yarmouth. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Busworks has had success in converting old buildings into business hubs in other areas of the UK, including in Lewes in East Sussex, and Chichester.

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