Great Yarmouth’s Italian Renaissance: Seaside town’s Venetian Waterways reopen after £2.7m restoration returning tourist spot to 1920s prime
- The Venetian waterways reopened today after a 10-month £2.7million restoration including the boating lake
- Nearly 20,000 flowers have been planted and a 1920s cafe has been restored at the popular holiday spot
- Mayor Michael Jeal cut the official red ribbon at the celebratory gala as boats and pedalos took to the water
A coastal Venetian river where tourists once cruised in canoes and pedalos has reopened after receiving £2.7million for restoration.
The revamp of the Grade II-listed waterways in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, began in June 2018 having been abandoned for a decade.
The remodelling of the boating lake, with its bridges, shelters and gardens, has been highly anticipated.
Mayor Michael Jeal cut the official red ribbon at the celebratory gala earlier today as rowing boats and pedalos once again returned to the attraction.
The Grade II-listed waterways in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, began in June 2018 and have been painstakingly restored by teams of volunteers
An aerial photograph reveals the meandering lake with its scattered gardens. The area had been completely shut for over a decade but has today been opened by the mayor Michael Jeal
The Venetian Waterways were originally commissioned in 1928 by the borough council as a way to create jobs after World War One (1914-1918) and the collapse of the town’s fishing industry.
They were designed at the time by S P Thompson.
But the gardens were in a state of decline towards the end of the 20th century and the boating lake was eventually drained in 2014.
Norfolk punters now have the chance to meander through the ornate gardens again – which were originally designed by S P Thompson in 1928
Great Yarmouth’s Venetian Waterways is set to become increasingly popular with young families as rowing boats and pedalos take to the water once again after the 10-month renovation
The painstaking efforts to revitalise the area were part of a £2.7million restoration.
Seventy-eight volunteers contributed a total of 1,290 hours to the National Lottery project, according to statistics in April.
Nearly 19,500 perennials, shrubs and trees were included within the design – a move that was praised by the Royal Horticultural Society.
The 1920s cafe has restored to its former glory by a charity dedicated to getting unemployed people back into work and the boating lake has been refilled with 3,600 cubic metres of water.
The once thriving seaside attraction was seen drained of water of 2014. It has now been re-filled with 3,600 cubic metres of water
A total of 1,290 volunteer hours were given to the restoration through Great Yarmouth’s Council which helped give the Grade-II listed site a new lease of life
Jean shared her British seaside memories with Our Great Yarmouth: ‘We used to stay in caravan at Northdenes, used to play in sand dunes all day.
‘[I] remember my little cousin nearly falling in water one year, trying to get into boat; many happy memories.
‘[I] still try to come back most summers, but bring grandchildren now.’
Nearly 19,500 perennials, shrubs and trees were included within the design – a move that was praised by the Royal Horticultural Society
The 1920s cafe has even restored to its former glory by a charity dedicated to getting unemployed people back into work
The revamp ‘looks magnificent’ and ‘lots of people have been admiring it’, according to Mary Coleman speaking at a preview of the project held earlier this year.
She admitted to the Great Yarmouth Mercury that there is still lots of work to do but she is ‘thrilled to bits’.
‘We have really been blessed with the weather. It really could not have been better.’
The meandering canal once attracted people from all over the UK and it is hoped that the project will once again help tourism in the area boom
A Facebook group has shared their postcards of the Venice-inspired gardens at the waterways in light of the attraction reopening