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Work to begin on cultural quarter

PUBLISHED: 10:24 12 November 2010

Plans to build a new cultural quarter for Great Yarmouth will move a step closer next week when work begins to convert St George’s Chapel into an arts centre and build a new pavilion alongside.

RG Carter will be carrying out the works on the Yarmouth Borough Council-led project, working closely with English Heritage and Hopkins Architects.

The work is expected to be completed by December 2011 and the multi-purpose venue will be open to the public in early 2012.

The project to breathe new life into the grade one listed chapel and the surrounding area of King Street has been enabled by significant grant funding and support from the CABE Seachange programme, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the East of England Development Agency, Norfolk County Council and English Heritage.

With planning permission and listed building consent granted the chapel will be renovated, while preserving and enhancing the original architecture.

Different layout and stage configurations will enable the venue to seat about 300 people.

Outside the chapel, a pavilion will be built on the pedestrianised St George’s Plain, housing a café/bar, toilets, and front of house/ticket sales facilities for the venue. An outdoor performance area will animate the plain itself.

Hoardings will soon be visible on the site and will feature artwork by Bristol-based artist, Silent Hobo. The artist worked with Yarmouth residents to create a mural depicting the town’s heritage and cultural life..

Once work is completed, the buildings will be leased by the council to the St George’s Arts Centre Trust. Peter Wilson, chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal, is chairman of the trust.

Borough council leader Barry Coleman said: “The start of work at St George’s represents a significant milestone in the creation of a new cultural quarter for Yarmouth.”

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