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Venetian Waterways and Boating Lake


The Venetian Waterways and Boating Lake were constructed from 1926-28 as part of a relief programme for the unemployed following World War One. The vibrant and floriferous planting was highly commended at the time, being entered into the Royal Horticultural Society's International Exhibition in 1928 where it was described as being particularly 'bold'. 

The park enjoyed its heyday until the 1960s when a decline in tourism at British seaside resorts contributed to a lack of visitors in the latter half of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century. Investment in, and maintenance of, the park, therefore declined leading to the eventual closure of the Boating Lake and the loss of historic features and planting in the Venetian Waterways.

The Borough Council, in partnership with the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust (GYPT), submitted an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund in August 2016. The bid involved the repair and restoration of the entire park, a comprehensive restoration training programme in horticulture and traditional building skills for long-term unemployed, youth and local residents, as well as a legacy of community activity. 

Restoration work began in June 2018 and completed in late Spring 2019. The Waterways (opens new window) was reopened as a collective site on the 20 August 2019. The project was funded through a £1.77m National Lottery grant awarded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), plus further support from the Borough Council, New Anglia LEP and the Department for Communities and Local Government (now MHCLG). 

Last modified on 24 January 2024

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