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Young people take part in Winter Gardens community project

As part of community consultation work around an ambitious project to restore the Winter Gardens, Great Yarmouth Borough Council has been engaging with young people to find out what students would like to see as part of the exciting regeneration scheme.

Some of the students’ work at East Norfolk Sixth Form College

The Winter Gardens is the last surviving Victorian glass house in the country and, in 2021, was one of five transformational projects across the country to be awarded a Heritage Horizon Award from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The award will see the iron and glass structure restored to its former glory as a people's palace on the town's seafront. Complete with beautiful gardens, galleries and café areas it will offer both entertainment and education, breathing new life into the area.

Rachel Daniel, the council's Winter Gardens partnership and engagement co-ordinator - along with Time and Tide Museum's youth engagement officer, Tricia Hall - recently took part in a Green Week event at Great Yarmouth's East Norfolk Sixth Form College.

Working with Great Yarmouth community organisation Creative Collisions, the pair spent the day talking to students about the environmental features of the project, covering everything from planting ideas to sustainability solutions.

The students contributed their ideas and highlighted features that were most important to them as young people living and studying on the east coast.

The following week, Rachel and Tricia were joined by students from the town's East Coast College for another session.

Photography students at the college are working on a Winter Gardens project and spent the afternoon learning about the history of the building and capturing images of the site as part of their coursework.

Rachel said: ''It was lovely to work with the young people and get their thoughts and ideas about the future of this iconic Great Yarmouth Landmark.

''These students have grown up with the Winter Gardens and were all enthused to see how new life can be breathed into it with such an exciting project. They had some brilliant ideas and we will continue to work with the community and seek their ideas and input as the work progresses.

''We are grateful to National Lottery players and The National Lottery Heritage Fund for making this project possible.''

Some of the pictures the students took will go on to form part of the council's consultation process and will be used to illustrate what young people would like the building to look like.

Robyn Llewellyn, Director, England, Midlands and East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: "It's wonderful to see the team is working with young people on the environmental sustainability of this project. Engaging young people is vital in securing the future of our heritage and it is thanks to National Lottery players that we are able to support important projects such as this one, ensuring heritage projects represent and reflect local voices from the community and that their ideas are heard across the heritage landscape."

The project is currently in its development phase and Great Yarmouth Borough Council is working with a project team, local partners and communities to develop plans for the Winter Garden's conservation, design, business model and activities.

Pending approval from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project is due to be completed in 2026.

Last modified on 13 November 2023

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