‘A great day for the borough’ - Waterway restoration project under way
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A project that will see a historic waterway restored to its former glory is under way in Great Yarmouth.
The Venetian Waterways on the seafront will profit from a £1.77m grant awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which will be used to refurbish the boating lake, island cafe, bridges and shelters.
This August marks the 90th anniversary of the Grade II listed attraction in North Drive, which was commissioned by the borough council as part of an employment relief programme following the First World War.
With shovel in hand, council leader Graham Plant officially broke ground on the project, heralding a “great day for the borough”.
He said: “When people come to Great Yarmouth and see this, they will se that we have a real interest in maintaining our heritage.
“It’s special because there’s nothing else like it in the country. We’re doing something that is unique and it is something that we’re very proud of and we’ll make sure it is something that is there for generations in the future.
“This is a great day for the borough and we look forward to seeing one of our unique heritage gems and community assets being restored over the coming year.”
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As part of the project, volunteers will be invited to work alongside specialists in a variety of roles and “take pride in their local history”.
Alison Hall, project coordinator, said: “Volunteers can get involved in all sorts of behind the scenes research work, helping us with the information we will provide on site, or recording oral histories from members of the community. They can also help us with hands on work, restoring the boat heads, the thatched shelters, the wooden bridges. The first three islands have also been earmarked for community planting.
“It’s a really beautiful place and it deserves to be at its best. It’s a chance for people to take part in their local history and take pride in it.”
Nearly 100 people have already expressed an interest in taking part in the project, which will take place across the next 12 months, but the borough council is keen to hear from more, as well as people who have stories about the waterways which they would like to share.
To find out more about volunteering opportunities, visit www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk/waterwaysproject-volunteer