Scheme to restore King Street

AN £8m scheme to restore the faded splendour of King Street and renovate St George's Chapel moved a step closer to becoming a reality after councillors agreed to spend £150,000 preparing a bid for £4m of government funding.

AN £8m scheme to restore the faded splendour of King Street and renovate St George's Chapel moved a step closer to becoming a reality after councillors agreed to spend £150,000 preparing a bid for £4m of government funding.

Yarmouth Borough Council's cabinet approved the application to the government's Sea Change programme, which could eventually lead to the renovation of 50 listed properties and the extension of the garden area around the chapel to provide space for outside arts events.

The chapel area and the southern part of King Street could also have new street furniture and a broader pavement which would become a focus for galleries, artists' residences, street cafes and specialist shops.

Cabinet members also heard Peter Wilson, chief executive of the Theatre Royal Trust in Norwich, had agreed to be chairman of a project board to explore ways of transforming the Grade I listed chapel into a flexible arts and cultural venue. In addition to the £4m Sea Change funding, a further £4m in matched funding would have to be found from such sources as the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and the Heritage Lottery Fund, bringing the total to £8m.


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The council is likely to learn if it has been successful in its funding bids by January and work could start as early as next spring.

Council director Peter Hardy said: “There are as many as 50 listed properties, including many 18th century merchant houses and some buildings that are 18th century facades on medieval structures.”

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Hailing the scheme as “very exciting”, council leader Barry Coleman, said: “If you look above the existing shop facades in King Street, the bricks and architecture are quite superb.”

The scheme also encompasses the completion of the “green parkway” from the seafront, through the recently revamped St George's Park, to South Quay. This would involve new landscaping on the edge of Yarmouth Way.

The council has already lined up consultants to look at options for the chapel, which has not been used as a theatre for two years because of structural problems.

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