Restored boating lake set for grand reopening
PUBLISHED: 15:54 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:54 07 August 2019
Ten years after the last boat took to the water, people will again have the chance to row out across the famous Boating Lake in Great Yarmouth.
Following the reopening of the Venetian Waterways at Easter and the Boating Lake gardens last month, the restored lake itself and the Cafe Island will open to the public on August 20.
Thousands of cubic metres of water have been slowly pumped into the waterway on North Drive as it prepares to recapture its 1950s holiday heyday.
And for the first time in a decade, people will have the opportunity to hire a rowing-boat or pedalo and cruise around the island cafe.
The Grand Reopening Gala will also include Punch and Judy shows, heritage and botanical talks, arts and crafts, music and entertainment, displays, stalls and charity fundraising.
In the build-up to the event, Great Yarmouth Borough Council is seeking three lucky families from the borough to be the first back on the Boating Lake - and has launched a competition on its Facebook page.
Cllr Graham Plant, chairman of the economic development committee, said: "The Waterways have been transformed since ground was broken in June 2018, even winning a Green Flag Award, and that's credit to everyone involved, especially our fabulous funders and dedicated staff and volunteers.
"The restoration of the Boating Lake and Island Cafe was one of the biggest and most ambitious parts of this project, and I'm sure many people watched the works progress with keen interest.
"We intend the Boating Lake to again become a destination in itself, complementing the Waterways in driving footfall to this area.
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"I am looking forward with excitement to the Grand Reopening Gala and I hope that lots of people will visit with their friends and relatives to celebrate the restoration, enjoy the family fun, take to the water of the Boating Lake and visit the Island Cafe."
The £2.7m Waterways restoration has been funded by a £1.7m National Lottery grant awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, plus further support from the borough council, New Anglia LEP and the Government.
The reopening takes place from 2pm to 6pm on Tuesday, August 20.
Opened in 1928, the Grade II-listed park and tourist attraction along North Drive was commissioned by Great Yarmouth Borough Council as an employment relief programme after the First World War.