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Temporary car park idea for fire hit site

PUBLISHED: 09:56 12 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:56 12 August 2016

The aftermath of a major fire which has destroyed the Regent Road superbowl and indoor market in the centre of Great Yarmouth.
The view from the fire service crane.

Picture: James Bass

The aftermath of a major fire which has destroyed the Regent Road superbowl and indoor market in the centre of Great Yarmouth. The view from the fire service crane. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2016

A week on from the fire inferno which destroyed Regent Superbowl and Indoor Market, questions are being raised over the future of the site and those affected.

Traders from around 40 businesses and three employees from the bowling alley are without jobs.

The owner of the site, Phil Thompson, is hopeful he can re-develop the site for next summer.

In the meantime, Central and Northgate ward councillor and mayor of Great Yarmouth Malcolm Bird, said the site could be used as something else, such as a car park, while enough finance is raised.

Leading investigator Jonathan Wilby of Norfolk Fire confirmed the blaze was due to an electrical fault, but investigations are still ongoing.

Meanwhile, fire crews have been at the scene all week dampening down to make sure it doesn’t reignite.

Mr Thompson said he hopes to get help from Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

He said: “I hope to get the building back up and running by the summer of 2017. I have the building insured but it is going to cost at least £1m to clear the site - I don’t know if my insurance will be enough.

“I need the council’s help for the good of the town and the traders that have been affected.”

Cllr Bird said: “I am always very nervous about insurers, it can be an extremely lengthy process and I think it will cost the owner a lot of money for the demolition and then getting it re-built.

“It won’t be a five minute job. After it has been knocked down depending, on how long it takes to get the finances together, maybe the site could be used for something like a car park.”

The Regent Superbowl was the longest running bowling alley in the country after coming to the town in 1963 but it is not certain whether the company that ran it will return to the town.

The owners of the company have not responded to our calls or emails.


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