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Hiccup for Yarmouth's chapel project

PUBLISHED: 14:30 13 August 2010 | UPDATED: 11:56 16 September 2010

HIGH hopes for a performance space to breathe new life into the heart of Great Yarmouth have suffered a hiccup following spending cuts.

The St George's Chapel Project will see an £8m investment in the building, built in 1714.

HIGH hopes for a performance space to breathe new life into the heart of Great Yarmouth have suffered a hiccup following spending cuts.

The St George's Chapel Project will see an £8m investment in the building, built in 1714.

But a slice of more than £100,000 has been lopped off a central government grant of £3m to Yarmouth Borough Council for the project, leading to an acknowledgement savings may have to be found.

The money was granted as part of a national Sea Change scheme, which gave money to coastal projects - and Yarmouth's cut is the biggest.

Peter Hardy, borough executive director for environment and economy, said: “This will not affect fundamental work, such as repairs to the structure.

“However, elements such as the landscaping may be affected, and we may have to do things like plant less trees, or use simpler paving materials.”

Under the project, the Grade 1 listed baroque building will seat around 300 people, and provide the backdrop to a pedestrianised St George's Plain with a café.

Mr Hardy emphasised this was one of the biggest grants given for such a development under the Sea Change programme.

He also said that spending on certain aspects of the scheme could be deferred for a few years until funding became available again.

Accepting such a cut “wasn't welcome”, Mr Hardy added it represented 2.5pc of the contract and said: “As soon as we had a new government speaking of making savings we knew it might affect the amount of grant available.”

The process is currently out to tender, and the council will be receiving bids from five interested parties in the coming weeks.

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