Norfolk

Great Yarmouth's Venetian Waterways reopens after revamp

The Venetian Waterways in Great Yarmouth Image copyright GYBC
Image caption The Venetian Waterways in Great Yarmouth have undergone a £2.7m revamp

A coastal town's Venice-inspired water gardens have been reopened after a £2.7m restoration.

Great Yarmouth's Venetian Waterways have been revamped thanks to funding from the National Lottery and the work of dozens of volunteers.

The borough council, which led the project, called the reopening a "major milestone" for the park.

Business leaders hope the Grade II-listed attraction will "give new life" to the seafront.

The Venetian Waterways were opened in 1928, having been commissioned by the borough council as a way to create work after World War One.

Restoration began in June and has been supported by 78 volunteers from the Green Gym, who have contributed nearly 1,300 hours of work.

The island cafe and pergolas have been renovated, and the original planting - celebrated at the 1928 RHS International Exhibition of Gardening Design - has also been revived.

Work is continuing on the neighbouring boating lake and will be finished by summer.

Image caption Volunteer from Great Yarmouth Green Gym have put in 6,500 plants in the restoration

Kate Watts, strategic director for Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: "The attraction will only get better as the restoration continues... with people once again able to go out on the boating lake in rowing boats and pedalos."

The project received a £1.7m National Lottery grant, with additional funding from the borough council, the government and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

LEP chairman Doug Field said the reopening was "great news" for the town.

"Opening the Venetian Waterways will provide a welcome boost for Great Yarmouth's visitor economy as we head into the summer season," he said.

"Reviving this iconic feature will give new life to the seafront and support the creation of new jobs."

The reopening will be marked by an Easter adventure trail and activities from 11:00 BST on Sunday.

Image caption The waterways reopened to the public on Easter Sunday

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