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Public asked to be patient as Waterways restoration is underway

PLEASE bear with us - it will be worth the wait. That is the message from Great Yarmouth Borough Council as the whole Venetian Waterways site is set to be closed for restoration from Monday, July 23.

Waterways works underway

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is working with the community on a flagship £2.7m project, supported by the National Lottery, to restore the Grade II-listed seafront attraction. This will see the Boating Lake and Island Café refurbished and brought back into use, the bridges and shelters restored, and volunteers reinstate the original planting scheme from 1928.

The restoration works started in earnest last month at the Boating Lake, with contractor Blakedown removing the 1960s extensions to the Island Café, stripping back the flower beds and excavating and cleaning the rockery. Some of the concrete restoration has also now started.

Over the coming weeks, work will expand south into the Waterways site, with the first teams of volunteers taking part in hands-on restoration. From September, volunteers will begin the all-important gardening works to reinstate the original beautiful and bold  planting scheme, which will continue through the winter.

Restoration work is taking place over the next 12 months and is funded by a £1.7m National Lottery grant awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund, plus further support from the borough council, New Anglia LEP and the Government.

On the advice of the contractor, the whole Waterways site will be closed to the public from Monday, July 23 in order to ensure the safety of the public, volunteers and staff during these significant restoration works. All the businesses around the site will be open as usual. We apologise for any inconvenience and will re-open the restored park as soon as possible next spring.

The project aims to involve the community in enhancing and interpreting a unique community facility, tourist attraction and heritage asset, supporting the local economy, boosting civic pride and providing people with meaningful opportunities to improve skills and access further training or employment.

Cllr Barry Coleman, chairman of the economic development committee, said: "The restoration is underway and this will become very obvious over the coming weeks as work expands into the Waterways end. We're well aware the Waterways is currently not looking as it normally would in summer, largely because much of the planting had to be removed ahead of the bird-nesting season, but the new plants will start to go in from September and people will start to notice the exciting transformation. We ask for people's patience during the works and the site closure, which is necessary to ensure public safety."

Find out more about volunteering, training and apprenticeship opportunities on the project at @WaterwayProject #waterways90

Last modified on 05 November 2020

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