Church glamping pod plan on ice as £626,000 funding bid awaits approval

An exhibition of of old jumble is set to be suspended from the ceiling at St John's Church, Yarmouth

St John's Church is set to be house holidaymakers - Credit: Nick Butcher

Ambitious plans to turn a Great Yarmouth church into a holiday accommodation site are set to get a major funding boost.

The Great Yarmouth Preservation aims to turn St John's Church into a place for holidaymakers to stay.

The bid to turn the Victorian church in Lancaster Road into indoor holiday accommodation is now set for a major cash injection.

In 2017 the trust had mooted turning the church into a glamping site with sleeping pods hanging from its ceiling.

An artist's impression of what the sleeping pods could look like suspended from the ceiling. Photo:

This image was released in 2017 showing how glamping sleeping pods could look like - Credit: Great Yarmouth PreservationTrust

But ahead of a crunch meeting over the plans, Darren Barker, managing director of the trust, said it was not known yet how the holiday accommodation will be "detailed".

On Tuesday night the council's economic development control committee will be asked to approve £626,000 of funding to the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust.

If approved the Town Deal money will go towards the church project and also towards plans to breathe fresh life into 160 King Street and the town's North West Tower.

A building on 160 King Street in Great Yarmouth which has been preserved by the Preservation Trust a

160 King Street is set for a funding boost - Credit: Danielle Booden

The trust wants to turn the buildings into financially viable venues which will make enough money to fund future preservation works.

Its plans for 160 King Street, which dates back to the 17th century, will see it become home to a Caribbean restaurant run by Eileen Eastaugh-Mascoll with a two-bedroom residential unit above it.

Eileen Eastaugh-Nascoll who will be opening a Jamaican resteraunt, Jamaikin' Mi Hungry, at 160 King

Eileen Eastaugh-Mascoll who will be opening a Jamaican restaurant, Jamaikin' Mi Hungry, at 160 King Street which has been preserved by Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The 14th century North West Tower on the River Bure, a former watchtower forming part of the town's 7m high wall, is being converted into a place to stay.

The North West Tower next the the River Bure in Great Yarmouth.Picture: James Bass

The North West Tower by the River Bure - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

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Each site is on Heritage England’s At Risk Register with the council saying there "is a significant funding gap between the cost of repair and an end-use venue for each building".

A paper to be discussed by the council committee says: "The restoration and repurposing of three vacant historic buildings in Great Yarmouth will contribute to creating a sense of place in the town by restoring Great Yarmouth’s unique heritage character.

"Building and capitalising on this character will support the growth of Great Yarmouth’s cultural and tourism industries."

The Town Deal funding came from the government following a successful bid by Great Yarmouth Borough Council which saw it handed £20.1m overall to boost the borough's economy and growth. 

Ice house circus centre plans

The same council meeting will also ask for the release of £450,000 of Town Deal funding and £50,000 from the council to go towards plans to create a National Centre for Arts and Circus.

The Ice House on Bridge Road in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Danielle Booden

The Ice House on Bridge Road in Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Archant

If approved the money will go towards restoring and adapting the landmark Ice House by Haven Bridge into an arts and circus hub run by Out There Arts.

In the mid 19th century the landmark Ice House was at the forefront of an industrial revolution that would see the town's fortunes soar.

It was built at the same time as Southtown railway station, meaning freshly caught fish could be packed and transported to London's Billingsgate fish market, reaching a whole new consumer base.

Out There Arts leases the Grade II listed building, which could house 1,000 tonnes of ice and is the only one of its kind in the country.

Ice House

The Ice House is be converted into an arts and circus centre - Credit: Archant library