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Boost for project to save Great Yarmouth’s Winter Gardens

PUBLISHED: 12:16 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:15 28 February 2020

The Winter Gardens in Great Yarmouth.

Picture: James Bass

The Winter Gardens in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

A future could yet be in store for one of Great Yarmouth’s most famous landmarks after the Winter Gardens has been shortlisted to apply for funding from the National Lottery.

The beautiful Winter Gardens in Great Yarmouth. The beautiful Winter Gardens in Great Yarmouth.

The Grade II*-listed landmark, dominating the Golden Mile since 1904, is considered at risk and its future has been in doubt for some time.

But the project to save the building from oblivion has got a boost after Great Yarmouth Borough Council submitted a successful expression of interest to the National Lottery Heritage Fund's Heritage Horizons Awards scheme.

The Winter Gardens is one of only 12 projects successfully shortlisted, out of 146 proposals received, to compete for a share of £50m.

The council is seeking £9.9m towards the cost of repair and restoration and now has until November 2020 to apply for development funding.

Urban Explorers have filmed inside Great Yarmouth's historic Winter Gardens Picture: Urbex with TaffyUrban Explorers have filmed inside Great Yarmouth's historic Winter Gardens Picture: Urbex with Taffy

Decisions will be made in early 2021, with around half the shortlisted projects expected to be awarded funding to develop their proposals further.

The council is working closely with a preferred operator to develop the application, including business case development, heritage activity planning, further architectural work and continuing to explore further opportunities for project funding.

The overall ambition is to repair and revive the Winter Gardens as a year-round visitor attraction.

Carl Smith and Trevor Wainwright, leaders of the council's main political groups, said: "This hugely exciting news reflects the national importance of the Winter Gardens as well as significant and ongoing work to realise the dream of bringing the unique Winter Gardens back into viable and suitable use as a year-round attraction.

Councillor Trevor Wainwright, leader of the Labour group in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Ella WilkinsonCouncillor Trevor Wainwright, leader of the Labour group in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

"As part of the council's seafront regeneration programme, the council has been working hard behind the scenes to drive forward our ambitions for the Winter Gardens, alongside restoring the Venetian Waterways and investing in the Marina Centre redevelopment for the benefit of the visitor economy and communities across the whole borough.

"The Winter Gardens is a nationally-important at-risk heritage gem, requiring significant national funding. We are so pleased that the National Lottery Heritage Fund is excited with our project and that we are working with a preferred operator. The ambition is to save, restore and reimagine the Winter Gardens at the heart of Great Yarmouth's regeneration and daily life."

Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borogh Council. Picture: Ella WilkinsonCouncillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borogh Council. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

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