'All the pieces are coming together' - Council leader's message to town


The presentation at Great Yarmouth Racecourse - Credit: Anthony Carroll

The benefits of various multi-million pound projects set to improve Great Yarmouth's infrastructure and create hundreds of jobs have been heralded at a special meeting in the town.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council invited business bosses and other key players in the borough to a presentation held at Great Yarmouth Racecourse.

As jockeys prepared for their rides in front of about 1,000 racegoers, council leader Carl Smith and council chief executive Sheila Oxtoby outlined the various ambitious schemes taking place in the town, such as the Marina Centre rebuild, the £4.6m market place relocation, the third river crossing and an offshore energy campus at the Outer Harbour.

Mr Smith: "Today is about promoting all the investment that is coming into the borough so people can see what is going on. It is just keeping everyone informed of where we are at and what is going on.

"It is about bringing investment into the town. It is like a jigsaw puzzle and all the pieces are coming together and we will see a transformation in Great Yarmouth over the next few years."

At the meeting was Glenn Hurren of Asco UK which is based in South Denes Road.

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Peel Port director Richard Goffin and Asco UK boss Glenn Hurren - Credit: Anthony Carroll

He was impressed to hear about all the developments going on in the town and said: "I am just very, very excited about the future of Great Yarmouth.

"It means a lot to Asco and our employees. We have every confidence in the port and the borough council."

Richard Goffin, port director for Peel Ports in the town, said the message from the meeting was one of positivity and praised the councils' upbeat attitude.

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Dr Catherine Richards, the principal of East Norfolk College, was also at the meeting.

She said: "I think the messages from today are really, really positive. The borough is doing really well and there is a great vision.

"I think in terms of what the college can do to help, I feel really confident that we are all working towards the same end goal.

"I know we need to work in terms of skills for the local economy to help our businesses.

"I think these events are very important because we can all develop our shared vision of what is best for our borough."

Town centre project progresses

The meeting heard that another crucial stage has taken place to help revitalise Great Yarmouth town centre.

Council leader Carl Smith announced the borough council had purchased the empty former Palmers department store.

The purchase will lead to the the creation of a learning hub in the former store and would see a relocated library sharing space with students on undergraduate courses affiliated with the University of Suffolk, and potentially the University of East Anglia, as well as East Coast College and East Norfolk Sixth Form College as partners.

Mr Smith said: "We have now got the keys to the building and now the work begins on repurposing that building.

"It will be a community hub. It is all about the regeneration of the market place, with the new market and the Palmers building work."