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Rowing boats and pedalos will be back on lake once more

PUBLISHED: 14:24 24 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:08 24 May 2019

The boating lake in North Drive is being re-filled Picture: Liz Coates

The boating lake in North Drive is being re-filled Picture: Liz Coates

Archant

Rowing boats and pedalos are set to cruise around an island café once more as an historic Great Yarmouth boating lake is refilled.

Thousands of cubic metres of water are being slowly pumped into the waterway on North Drive as it prepares to recapture it's 1950s holiday heyday.

Graham Plant, chairman of the economic development committee and deputy council leader, said residents and visitors alike were watching the water levels rising with "keen interest and excitement."

The process is set to take around 60 days.

Mr Plant said: "The refilling of the boating lake, which started this week, is a significant milestone in the overall restoration and I am sure that residents and visitors alike are watching the water level rising with keen interest and excitement.

"With a total capacity of about 4,300 cubic metres, the boating lake is expected to be full enough to reopen by the summer holidays, with the fresh water being fed up directly from the water table via a dedicated borehole.

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"The boating lake has been closed to the public for safety reasons since 2014, when the concrete basin was drained and cleaned so the condition could be fully assessed to determine repairs required and support funding bids.

"We have come a long way since that point, securing the £1.7m National Lottery grant to support the council's restoration of the Boating Lake and Waterways sites.

"The boating lake basin, surrounding gardens and island café are now restored - the transformation has been amazing - and we look forward to officially opening the boating lake in the coming weeks and welcoming people back onto the site to enjoy themselves in the café and venture out onto the water in rowing boats and pedalos."

The Waterways site was reopened at Easter, following completion of the major engineering and landscaping works, and volunteers will continue to restore the park over the coming years.

The Venetian Waterways and boating lake were constructed from 1926 to 1928 as part of a relief programme for the unemployed following the First World War.

The park enjoyed its heyday until the 1960s, when a slump in tourism contributed to a lack of visitors.

Investment and maintenance declined, leading to the closure of the boating lake.

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