Winter Gardens set for urgent works as council progresses project to bring heritage gem back into use
GREAT Yarmouth Borough Council is to undertake urgent remedial works to part of the historic Winter Gardens, while continuing to progress a project to bring the heritage gem back into use.
The Grade II*-listed landmark, which has dominated the famous Golden Mile since 1904, is of national significance as the UK's last surviving Victorian seaside cast iron and glass winter gardens.
Earlier this year, the council appealed nationally to seek a suitable operator to run a sustainable business within the historic landmark. The council is considering possibilities arising from this important work, while continuing to actively explore all opportunities to secure the significant funding required for repair and restoration.
As part of the ongoing monitoring of the structure, it has been identified that urgent remedial works are required within the high-level lantern structure, due to the loss of glass panes and the poor condition of the window frame sills.
Until funding is secured for repair and restoration, the plan is the install scaffolding inside the building, so glazing and glazing bars can be removed from the inside and the outer glazing frames boarded, secured and retrained to the scaffolding, ensuring the building is wind- and water-tight.
Councillors discussed the situation at the Policy and Resources Committee on Tuesday, October 15, and agreed to move ahead with appointing contractors to complete remedial works as soon as possible.
Cllr Carl Smith and Cllr Trevor Wainwright, leaders of the main political groups at the council, said: "Significant valuable work has already taken place and continues to progress behind the scenes to realise the council's ambition - and the community's ambition - to bring our Winter Gardens back into viable use.
"Following our national appeal for a suitable operator, we are currently considering the resultant possibilities while actively exploring all avenues to secure the significant funding needed for repair and restoration. This is a national heritage gem requiring national funding.
"We have been monitoring the condition of the building and these urgent remedial works serve to highlight and support our case for funding for the Winter Gardens. The works will ensure protection from the glazing to the surrounding area and also ensure the structure is better protected from weather until permanent repairs can be completed."