Historic coastal pub set for 'exciting' restoration
- Credit: Great Yarmouth Borough Council
A listed pub famed for its Art Deco design is a step closer to being brought back into use.
The Iron Duke, on Great Yarmouth’s seafront, has been derelict since 2008 – but on Tuesday (December 15), Great Yarmouth Borough Council agreed a loan enabling the town’s preservation trust to buy the building from its current owners Bourne Leisure.
Three years ago, amid concerns the former pub could be demolished, it was designated a listed building.
After the sale, the trust will use its own funds to undertake emergency repairs making the building wind- and weather-tight, before undertaking feasibility work to develop a scheme of repair, in addition to exploring external funding options for restoration.
Bernard Williamson, chairman of the trust, said: “We are delighted that a sale of this important historic building has been agreed and we hope we will complete and take ownership before the end of the year.
“This will be the beginning of a very exciting restoration project, and more of the town’s special heritage will be brought back into use. The continuing support of the borough council has enabled the preservation trust to tackle a number of buildings at risk which otherwise might have been lost.”
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Cllr Carl Smith, the council leader, said: “The Iron Duke contributes to the special character of the borough and is part of its 20th century history. We are pleased to be supporting the preservation trust to purchase this historic building in order to preserve and breathe new life into it for future generations.
“Over many years, we have worked closely with the trust, which has a nationally-recognised track record for successful repair and sustainable re-use of vacant historic buildings, supporting wider regeneration work, saving our heritage and creating training and job opportunities in the process.”
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The pub was the work of the architect Arthur W Ecclestone who designed a number of pubs both before and after the Second World War, including The Clipper Schooner in Great Yarmouth and the Links Hotel in Gorleston.
Despite being incomplete, The Iron Duke opened in 1940 to serve the soldiers manning anti-aircraft guns on North Denes.
It was finished in 1948, with its counters made from teak from Admiral Jellicoe’s flagship, HMS Iron Duke, that led the British fleet in the Battle of Jutland.