Great Yarmouth market revamp still on, says council, as it vows to put cash aside
PUBLISHED: 10:59 14 December 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
Plans to revamp Great Yarmouth's market place remain firmly on the council's agenda, despite missing out in a crucial funding bid.
Last month, it was revealed that Great Yarmouth Borough Council had been unsuccessful in a bid to secure £1.5m from the coastal communities fund to give the market a £2.7m overhaul.
However, at Thursday night’s full council meeting, members voted in favour of squirrelling away its own contribution to the scheme - more than £1m.
Council leader Graham Plant said it was important to put the money to one side, so that if alternative government funding can be secured, the council will be well-placed to make its own contribution.
He said: “While we did not secure funding through the coastal communities fund, we are also bidding through a town centre scheme.
“Our ambition remains to improve the market place and this way if another funding opportunity comes along we will not have to miss out.”
However, while the members agreed to commit the funding, the exact design of the scheme remains to be confirmed, with it previously being decided further consultation was required.
Labour councillor Brian Walker raised concerns that committing the funding would mean the council would be willing to settle for a lesser scheme at a later date. However Mr Plant said this was not the intention.
The original proposals had suggested the entire market be re-located closer to the Minster, allowing a larger space to be created - which has come under fire from market traders.
Chris Walch, independent councillor for the Central and Northgate ward, though, said he was strongly opposed to moving the market and that the desired effect could be achieved at a much lower cost by renovating the existing lay-out.
He said: “I have been strongly opposed to this since day one - I think there is no point.
“Moving the market would not bring in more footfall and be taking away the livelihood of the traders.”
However Mr Plant added: “I think we need to continue designing but put the money aside so when the opportunity arises, we are ready to move forward.”