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‘Primeyarc’ boost to high street as former Debenhams store is taken over

PUBLISHED: 11:46 14 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:28 15 September 2020

Primeyarc is a new art space inside the former Debenhams unit in Market Gates Picture: Jordon Thomas Sendall

Primeyarc is a new art space inside the former Debenhams unit in Market Gates Picture: Jordon Thomas Sendall

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A former department store is set to be used by artists as a place to work and exhibit.

A closing down sale has been launched at Debenhams in Great Yarmouth Picture: Liz CoatesA closing down sale has been launched at Debenhams in Great Yarmouth Picture: Liz Coates

The takeover is being staged by originalprojects and will see Debenhams in Market Gates reopen as workshop, gallery, and exhibition space.

In a play on words said to celebrate ‘brilliance’, and the name given to Yarmouth’s residents, the project’s title Primeyarc also tips its hat towards budget retailer Primark - seen by some as the answer to all the town’s shopping woes.

And like its near namesake the hope is that Primeyarc will boost the high street.

The charity’s managers, Jules Devonshire and Kaavous Clayton aim to officially open the unit on Saturday September 26 as town centres across the country adapt to changing times.

Jules Devonshire discusses future plans of Primeyarc with a local artist. Picture: Jordon Thomas SendallJules Devonshire discusses future plans of Primeyarc with a local artist. Picture: Jordon Thomas Sendall

To celebrate the opening, a live performance and film screening will be taking place by Yarmonics, a local sonic arts improvisational band.

Mr Clayton, 48, said that he hoped Primeyarc would be a step in repurposing the declining high street.

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He said: “This is all part of an ongoing aspiration to work with Great Yarmouth and reanimate the town centre during changing times.

The information board has already received a lot of feedback from prospective collaborators and visitors Picture: Jordon Thomas SendallThe information board has already received a lot of feedback from prospective collaborators and visitors Picture: Jordon Thomas Sendall

“Primeyarc’s mission is to provide new opportunities for visitors and residents to experience the personality of the place, as well as produce and exchange in innovative and adaptive ways.”

The new venture follows originalprojects’ previous occupancy of the former M&S building in the town centre.

That space, called ‘Ex Marks The Spot’. welcomed over 6,000 visitors in its seven-month opening, as well as hosting original pieces from local and international artists.

The charity has won support from Aviva’s Community Fund and with enough funding plans to set up a community design studio introducing younger residents to art and design, as well as assisting them in creating design solutions to real-world problem like designing interactive bins to tackle ongoing litter issues in the town.

Jules Devonshire and Kaavous Clayton from originalprojects are hopeful Primeyarc will help repurpose the high street Picture: Jordon Thomas SendallJules Devonshire and Kaavous Clayton from originalprojects are hopeful Primeyarc will help repurpose the high street Picture: Jordon Thomas Sendall

Debenhams closed in January - one of more than 40 in the chain to close in the last year following an announcement in April 2019 that 22 of the worst-performing stores would shut permanently.

The news was greeted with sadness in the town, compounded by the loss of Palmers/Beales which closed in March.

To find out more contact originalprojects on their Facebook page and keep up to date with the Primeyarc space on their website at www.originalprojects.space.


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