National Lottery's £12m to breathe fresh life into iconic winter gardens in Great Yarmouth

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An historic seaside building which is the only one of its kind in Britain is to be saved with a multi-million pound investment.

Great Yarmouth's historic Winter Gardens is to be reopened, thanks to a £12.3 million pound investment from the National Lottery. The rusting Victorian ironwork glass house on the Golden Mile is on the point of falling into disrepair following its closure in 2008.

Darren Barker, from the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, said it was important the building was saved for the future.

He said: "I think it's absolutely brilliant news, this is one of the most important buildings in Great Yarmouth - one you can truly use the word iconic for.

"It's been such a pity it's been in a state of disrepair for so long - this is tremendous news."

The Winter Gardens, once described as a seafront cathedral of light, is now a faded shadow of its former self.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is hoping the refurbishment will breathe fresh life into the resort and help extend the holiday season.

It will be free to enter and provide botanical gardens, as well as food and drink outlets.

The Winter Gardens in its heyday. Credit: Great Yarmouth Borough Council

The building was originally used to house plant life, it was then a concert hall ,a childrens' amusement venue , a skating rink and even an Austrian beer garden.

The comedian Jim Davison held the lease for a while but it's been closed since 2008.- too costly to keep up, and even more expensive to tear down.

Work on the refurbishment project will begin in Spring 2025.

The building was originally put up in Torquay in 1878 and shipped to Great Yarmouth where it was reconstructed on the seafront.

It hoped the work will be completed by 2027 and the people's palace will sparkle on Yarmouth's seafront once again.

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