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'Flamboyant' former bank added to 'at risk' register of historic gems

PUBLISHED: 14:06 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:40 13 August 2019

The former Natwest bank has been added to an 'at risk' register which looks to save historic buildings Picture: Google Maps

The former Natwest bank has been added to an 'at risk' register which looks to save historic buildings Picture: Google Maps

Google Maps

A former bank has been added to an 'at risk' register which highlights the plight of historic buildings across the UK.

The Iron Duke pub in Great Yarmouth.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe Iron Duke pub in Great Yarmouth. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Also included are the Winter Gardens and the Iron Duke pub - both familiar to generations in Great Yarmouth and the subject of local frustration about being empty and unused.

But new to the list is 23 Hall Quay, the former Natwest bank.

According to the Don't Leave Me This Way catalogue published by Save Britain's Heritage the purpose-built bank is not all that it seems.

Presenting an elaborate front that speaks of space and grandeur the building behind is much smaller, the second floor being only one room deep and the banking hall one storey high.

The entry states the building is "fabulous" inside.

Winter Gardens at Great Yarmouth. Picture: Julie FrostWinter Gardens at Great Yarmouth. Picture: Julie Frost

It adds: "It is in great need of a new use which takes full advantage of the flamboyant drama of the design.

"Perhaps it could be a restaurant or smart offices.

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"It's location near the centre of Great Yarmouth is a good one for business."

A public consultation into the future of Hall Quay has just finished.

Under a borough council vision it could be reinvented as a dining quarter with boutique hotels and outdoor seating.

Changes to the road layout are planned with the third river crossing taking traffic away from the congested area and giving it a chance to make the most of its riverside spot with large, unoccupied listed buildings, like the bank, crying out for new uses.

While hopes are high that a new restaurant use can be found for the bank, the future is more uncertain for the Iron Duke.

The Art Deco pub has been shuttered for years and due to a spirited campaign was listed in 2017.

It is described as an "interesting and atmospheric building" which remains under threat of demolition.

The Winter Gardens has long been on the restoration radar.

It featured in last year's list of endangered buildings by the Victorian Society and the borough council continues to press for funds and a new use.

The attraction came to Yarmouth from Torquay in 1904 with the aim of "lengthening the season with better class visitors, and on wet days provide cover for 2,000 persons."

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