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Wide range of casino ideas

PUBLISHED: 09:22 03 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:32 03 July 2010

A LANDMARK building to tower over the seafront, a theme park and even turning the historic town hall into a gambling house are among developers' ideas for creating a new casino in Great Yarmouth.

A LANDMARK building to tower over the seafront, a theme park and even turning the historic town hall into a gambling house are among developers' ideas for creating a new casino in Great Yarmouth.

While two developers have already shown their hands - proposing £35m leisure complexes that would combine a casino with such facilities as multiplex cinemas, bowling alleys, hotels, conference centres, bars and restaurants - Graham Plant, borough council cabinet member for regeneration, said “more exciting proposals still remain on the table”.

While he declined to discuss schemes that have yet to enter the public domain, it is thought some of those being proposed for a prime council-owned site on the Golden Mile would involve a wholesale revision of the seafront, including the demolition of the Marina Centre.

Some plans - for which concept proposals have already been shown to the council - would include a theme park-style attraction based on branded children's characters, while others would see a combined water park and ice rink.

It is believed that more than one plan would involve an iconic centrepiece building - probably the casino-based hotel development - that would tower over the seafront.

Since last week's government announcement finally giving the go-ahead to eight large and eight small new-style casinos across the country, the Mercury has also learned that one developer is looking at the historic town hall as the possible home to a casino while others are considering the riverside.

If the council plumped for a riverside casino, it is possible an agreement would be struck with the developer to secure the redevelopment of the seafront as well.

The council's head of regeneration, Tim Howard, said: “We have had considerable interest already and I still expect further developers to come forward.”

Mr Howard said all the developers they had met, and these included major multi-national players, had said their proposals were aimed at attracting a whole new audience to the town.

He said early guidance from the government was that the council should consider what offered the “greatest general benefit to the borough” in reaching its decision on which casino plan to go for.

Meanwhile, Pleasure Beach boss Albert Jones said he would be submitting detailed plans for his casino and leisure complex called The Edge within the next two weeks.

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