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Great Yarmouth's Waterways to re-open following major restoration work

The Waterways

Great Yarmouth’s historic Venetian Waterways is to re-open on Easter Sunday following major and ongoing restoration work, with people invited to celebrate at two fun family events.

Since June 2018, the Grade II-listed seafront park has been closed for a flagship £2.7m restoration, led by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and supported by The National Lottery.

While contractors finalise refurbishment of the Boating Lake site ahead of its official opening later this spring, major engineering and landscaping works at the Waterways site are now complete, meaning the Waterways site can re-open from Sunday, April 21. Volunteers will continue to restore the park over the coming years.

On Easter Sunday, families are invited to re-discover the park by taking part in an Easter Adventure Trail organised by the council, from 11am to 2pm. This will be followed at 2pm by the Duck Race, organised by the Great Yarmouth Haven Rotary Club.

The Easter Adventure Trail invites people to follow a trail around the Waterways and solve the clues to receive an Easter egg and certificate. Children are also invited to take part in an Easter bonnet parade at 1pm for a chance to win family day out passes.

As part of this free community event, there will also be a host of other fun crafts and activities, plus the chance to watch a Punch and Judy show from Professor Philips, of Dandini Puppets, between 11.30am and 12.30pm.

Kate Watts, Strategic Director at the borough council, said: “The re-opening of the Waterways site is an exciting and major milestone in the ongoing restoration. Following completion of the major structural repairs, the site can re-open and volunteers will continue the ongoing restoration over the coming years.

“The Easter activities are a fun way for residents and visitors to re-discover the Waterways and to celebrate the exciting and significant work completed so far by contractors with the help of our volunteers.

“While work remains underway, the attraction will only get better as the restoration continues and the Boating Lake and Island Café open, with people once again able to go out on the Boating Lake in rowing boats and pedloes.”

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 support from the borough council, New Anglia LEP and the Government. In addition, approximately 78 people have so far contributed a collective total of 1,290 volunteer hours towards the project.

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said on behalf of The National Lottery: “We all benefit from spending time outside in the fresh air, and the people of Great Yarmouth are very lucky to be able to enjoy that in the nationally unique landscape of the Venetian Waterways. National Lottery players’ money will ensure this seaside park will have a wonderful future, and we are very excited to see the excellent progress of the project so far, and are eagerly awaiting the unveiling of its completion.”

The project aims to involve the community in enhancing and interpreting a unique community facility, tourist attraction and heritage asset, supporting the local economy, boosting civic pride and providing people with meaningful opportunities to improve skills and access further training or employment.

Doug Field, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said “Opening the Venetian Waterways will provide a welcome boost for Great Yarmouth’s visitor economy as we head into the summer season. Reviving this iconic feature will give new life to the seafront and support the creation of new jobs. This is great news for the town.”