Search is on for commercial operator to bring Winter Gardens back into use as discussions continue with Lottery
GREAT Yarmouth Borough Council is seeking expressions of interest from potential operators to help bring the historic Winter Gardens back into use, as positive discussions continue with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The borough council is working to bring back into use the Grade II*-listed landmark, which has dominated the famous Golden Mile since 1904 and is of national significance as the UK's last surviving Victorian seaside cast iron and glass winter gardens.
The council submitted a bid to the HLF's major batch grant pool in December and has continued discussions with the body, which has indicated that the project does qualify for support but would first need to see a commercial investor-operator on board before any new bid could be made.
The council is now actively seeking to identify and discuss the possibilities with organisations which might be interested in helping to bring the iconic seafront building back into use as a temperate plant house or other suitable use.
The political group leaders, Cllr Graham Plant and Cllr Trevor Wainwright, said: "The council is liaising closely with the HLF, which in addition to praising our positive leadership and commitment, has recognised the Winter Gardens as an iconic building at risk and indicated that funds for repair would be available with a suitable future operator on board.
"This is really welcome news, and reflects confidence in the proactive and valuable work undertaken by this council towards achieving our ambition - and the wider community's ambition - of bringing this national heritage gem back into use as a viable and unique year-round tourist attraction that supports our economy and cultural status.
"The Winter Gardens represents an exciting and rare opportunity to get involved in breathing new life into a rare-surviving historic icon of the British seaside, and we would love to hear from representatives of any organisations interested in visiting and investing in the building and discussing the possibilities."
Organisations interested in visiting are asked to contact Stacy Cosham on 01493 846153 or email Stacy Cosham