Funding hope for chapel

THE renovation of St George's Chapel and King Street has moved a step closer to fruition, after the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) invited an application for �1m funding earmarked for the project.

THE renovation of St George's Chapel and King Street has moved a step closer to fruition, after the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) invited an application for �1m funding earmarked for the project.

The EEDA grant would be the last major cash needed for the �8m scheme, which aims to renovate 50 listed properties and extend the garden area around the chapel to provide space for outside arts events.

The chapel area and southern part of King Street could also have new street furniture and a broader pavement which would become the focus for galleries, artists' residences, street cafes and specialist shops.

Funding for the work will come from the government's Sea Change programme, the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and Norfolk County Council.

Project director Peter Hardy said: “This decision puts us on the home straight towards the final go-ahead for the project and we hope to start preparatory design work immediately.

“If all goes well, we could see a start of work on site before the end of the year. We would like to see St George's reopening for public use as soon as 2011.”

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Hopkins Architects Ltd is expected to be confirmed shortly as heading the project design team.

They will be responsible for overseeing the repair and conversion of Grade I listed St George's, the landscaping of St George's Plain and construction of a new pavilion to complement St George's.

Peter Wilson, chief executive of the Norwich Theatre Royal and chairman of the St George's Project Board, said: “We are delighted to be working with Hopkins Architects on this landmark project for Great Yarmouth. St George's is an outstanding example of baroque architecture, and I can think of no-one better able to lead.”

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