Vauxhall Bridge restoration funding close to being secured

A REGENERATION scheme that will guarantee the future of one of Great Yarmouth’s most maligned landmarks is close to wrapping up a funding package.

Great Yarmouth’s dilapidated Vauxhall Bridge has been a source of local frustration for years with the public saying it gives a poor first impression of the resort.

But this week it emerged that there were “just a couple of hoops” to be jumped through before all the money for the first phase had been assembled.

John Drinkill, of the local panel for the National Lottery’s Fair Shares Trust, which is putting up most of the money said everything was “moving forward positively”.

Around �520,000 is needed for the first phase of the project to restore the span of the bridge which is currently closed and re-open it to pedestrians and cyclists. Most of that will come from the Fair Shares Trust - a ten year funding stream aimed at improving the Runham Vauxhall area of the town which comes to an end this year.

David Wardale at Norfolk County Council, said: “The funding is almost in place for Vauxhall Bridge but there are just another couple of hoops.

“The principal driver for this is the Fair Shares Trust. Once we secure their funding there are other funding pots.”

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Already money is being sought for the second phase with the Heritage Lottery Fund showing an interest.

Meanwhile restauranteur Miriam Kikis, one of the loudest and most passionate voices calling for action over the Grade II listed bridge said she was delighted things were looking up.

“Where there is a will there’s a way,” she said. “It would be such a shame to get rid of such a beautiful structure - the only one left of its kind.”

Meanwhile Mrs Kikis who has run the acclaimed Seafood Restaurant in North Quay for 32 years moved to thank business friends whose donations were helping to prove the case for regeneration and solve the cash problem.

Among those giving handouts were John Sewell of Perenco who gave �5000, John Tooley of JH Bunn who gave �1000, Bruce Sturrock of Palmers who gave �500, Charles Plumstead of ATI, Ros Macmanus of Northgate Community Associatin who gave �50 and an anonymous donation of �200.

“I just want to say a big thank you to these people,” Mrs Kikis said. “They are helping to save this beautiful structure for the benefit of the community and something to be proud of in our town.”