Great Yarmouth's Venetian Waterways wins more prestigious awards after being open mere months
Great Yarmouth's recently-restored historic Venetian Waterways have gone on to win two more awards only months after opening to the public.
The £2.7m renovation was led by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, in partnership with Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust and with key support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The main works were completed between June 2018 and August 2019 by community groups, volunteers and the council's main contractor Blakedown Landscapes.
The restoration included refurbishing the Boating Lake and Island Café as well as the Venetian bridges and thatched weather shelters and faithfully restoring the planting scheme. After the successful opening of the Waterways site at Easter, the Boating Lake itself and the Café Island also reopened in August with Community Access Trust managing the concession.
Now, the Waterways has won both the Principal Award in the Large Regeneration Scheme category, plus a Special Award for Best Community Involvement at the BALI National Landscape Awards 2019.
The BALI Awards, organised by the British Association of Landscape Industries, celebrate the skills, hard work, dedication and achievements of BALI Registered members and are the largest landscape awards in Europe. The awards recognise quality landscape design, construction and the maintenance in both the UK and overseas.
This comes after the Waterways won the Green Flag Award and Green Heritage Site Accreditation in July. Those who receive the Green Flag Award must demonstrate their ability to maintain a valuable space with a clear idea of what they are trying to achieve and why, plus who they are aiming to serve.
Cllr Graham Plant, chairman of the economic development committee, said: "To have won three awards in such a short space of time is a massive honour to those who worked tirelessly to restore the Waterways to its current high standards.
"Anyone who has visited the Waterways since its reopening will have seen how much hard work has gone into restoring it. As the planting scheme matures and our dedicated volunteers continue to work on the refurbishment, the Waterways will be further enhanced as a very special place for locals and tourists alike.
"The BALI Awards broke several of its own records this year, including the most entries received in the last 10 years, which means winning is an even bigger credit to all those who helped in the restoration of the Waterways, with competition being so high."
The projects aim is to get the community involved in enhancing and improving one of the town's most unique community facilities, tourist attraction and heritage asset. This will help support the local economy, boost public pride and help provide people with useful opportunities to help improve skills and obtain further training or employment.
The restoration has been funded by a £1.7m National Lottery grant awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, plus further funding from the borough council, New Anglia LEP and Central Government (MHCLG). In addition, volunteers have so far contributed 2,000 hours, with the community continuing the restoration over the coming years as the project moves to the legacy phase