With tourism booming, Great Yarmouth dreams of turning the tide

Strolling in the September sun, eating ice-creams and sitting on the golden sand, visitors to Great Yarmouth’s “Golden Mile” promenade basked in a late burst of good weather.

The second pandemic summer delivered a booming tourist season to the Norfolk resort on England’s east coast, and domestic visitors have continued to arrive well after the end of the school holidays.

Related: It’s cold and wet, but Scarborough is a beacon of normality for families

Constantly changing travel restrictions put many people off flying abroad for their annual trip, and Britain’s seaside resorts, cities and countryside destinations have been the beneficiaries. But as the season draws to a close, many coastal towns are asking if the summer influx of domestic visitors will have a lasting impact on the local economy.

Visiting Great Yarmouth for the first time were Ben and Kate Atkinson and their two-and-a-half year-old daughter, Grace. The family from south Lincolnshire had decided to save themselves the hassle and expense of a foreign trip, and were staying at a holiday park recommended by friends. “We came for the day, and it’s really clean, and has a nice beach,” said Kate.

Related: ‘The price was a shock’: Britons on holidaying in UK this summer

Sally and Damon Cooper from Worthing in West Sussex had paused to enjoy a mid-afternoon ice-cream while walking their three basset hounds along the resort’s promenade.

“We’ve been in the model village,” said Sally, enjoying their third September in a row on a Norfolk break.

Victoria Newstead, whose 27-room hotel, Andover House, looks set to remain busy with tourists into October, said: “We’ve been here for 15 years, seen 15 summers, and we have never seen anything like it, occupancy has been incredible.” .

Newstead has noticed that business travellers – usually people working in the energy and offshore wind industry – are also returning.

According to data from Social Investment Business (SIB), a foundation which provides loans and grants to improve local communities, Great Yarmouth saw one of the biggest spending booms of any coastal town over the summer.

Food and drink spending was up by 73% in August compared with the same month in pre-pandemic 2019, and entertainment spending rose 86%.

“These summer months have also provided much needed relief to local businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors,” said Will Thomson, policy lead at SIB, attributing the rise to increased domestic tourism and the easing of Covid restrictions.

Following the pandemic, Thomson believes seaside economies need to be more self-sustaining to become more resilient.

“In order to genuinely level up towns like Great Yarmouth, we need greater levels of investment to support a local social economy that meets the needs of people who live and work there, and creates reasons to visit the town that are not entirely dependent upon tourism or the time of year,” he said.

Like many coastal resort towns, Great Yarmouth has found it hard to attract investment, and the area has pockets of deprivation.

A recent report by Prof Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, who found coastal towns have some of the nation’s worst health outcomes, including disproportionately high concentrations of chronic disease, mental illness and poor life expectancy.

Great Yarmouth and eight other coastal regions including Blackpool, North Devon, North Norfolk and Cornwall were among the 13 council areas with the lowest average weekly wages.

According to official data, the average weekly wage in 2020 for a full-time worker in Great Yarmouth was £473, almost 20% lower than the £587 average across Great Britain. The town recorded 6.4% of its working age population claiming benefits in August 2021, according to official figures, 1% higher than the average for Great Britain, and 2% above the rest of the East of England region.

Despite these statistics, the leader of Great Yarmouth borough council, Conservative Cllr Carl Smith, believes the town is beginning to turn the tide.

A constituency represented by the Conservatives since 2010, it has secured almost £35m in government funding from the Future High Streets Fund and the Town Deal, funding aimed at helping communities recover from the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the town’s iconic glass and steel Winter Gardens – in place since the start of the 20th century and previously home to a ballroom and roller-skating rink – has received nearly £10m in National Lottery funding to revamp it for the modern age.

“People can see the amount of investment we’ve got going into the town, over £200m,” Smith said.

“We’ve got our new health and leisure centre on the seafront opening next summer, we’ve got our new market opening next spring, we have then got an offshore maintenance campus to do with the offshore energy industry being built, bringing 650 jobs.”

The council is also aiming to prolong the tourist season by offering attractions in the October school holidays and beyond.

“Coming up to half-term, we’ve got our ‘Fire on the Water festival’ on the Venetian Waterways; first time we have done it,” Smith said.

“We know there’s lots of people in low paid jobs in the holiday industry, there always has been, but extending that season gives them more opportunity for work.”

They’re also keen to keep running the rides into the autumn at the town’s Pleasure Beach, which is spread across nine acres (3.6 hectares) of seafront.

Once the schools go back in September, the Pleasure Beach is only open at the weekends until the season ends at Hallowe’en, said co-director Aaron Jones, who – along with his older brother – is the fourth generation in his family to run the entertainment park.

Jones believes the tourism industry needs to make a “collective effort” to put on events to attract visitors after the peak summer season.

“There is no doubt people are looking at things to do in November and December. Winter events are something we are looking at and would love to do,” he said.

For several decades the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust has been buying, restoring and repurposing some of the town’s historic buildings.

Once grand merchant houses left to decay over the years are being turned into vibrant community spaces, including the Yare Gallery, which has proved very popular in a town which is bidding, jointly with East Suffolk council, to become the UK’s City of Culture in 2025.

The Trust’s most recent project, on King Street in the town centre, is the only surviving example of a 17th-century timber-framed building. The site had lain empty for years, ignored by an owner based overseas. It has now been turned into an upper-storey flat, while the ground floor will become a Jamaican restaurant which will run cooking classes for young people.

“We are looking at more of these problem buildings which are vacant and neglected and don’t lend themselves to other uses,” said Barker. “If we are successful in regenerating the town we wouldn’t be needed.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Boris Johnson vows to 'fix' Northern Ireland Protocol

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Boris Johnson today insisted his Government will ‘fix’ post-Brexit rules throttling goods trade with Northern Ireland today as he insisted the problems were ... Read more »

Minister defends Johnsons' Christmas ‘childcare bubble' with Nimco Ali

Carrie Johnson needed her friend in her “childcare bubble” with Boris Johnson for extra support over Christmas because of the challenges of running the country and experiencing difficult pregnancies, a ... Read more »

Nicola Sturgeon savaged over 'illiberal' vaccine passports 'Makes no logical sense!'

Anti-passport campaigner Alan Miller has slammed Scotland’s vaccine passport scheme, calling it “completely wrong” and makes “no logical sense”. Nicola Sturgeon‘s vaccine passport scheme become enforceable by law on Monday, ... Read more »

3 of the best Christmas shopping getaways to make spending money fun

News Bath’s Christmas market has been cancelled this year will be disappointing for many people. But there are still plenty of ways to combine gift buying with a day out ... Read more »

When will the Christmas lights switch on in Edinburgh? When and where to see light displays in 2021

With the nights getting longer, it’s time for a festive staple: colourful Christmas light displays. © Christmas at the Botanics is one of several light shows to catch around Edinburgh ... Read more »

One day, I have to: Priyanka Gandhi on contesting UP elections 2021

© Provided by Zee News Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s future course in Indian politics is a topic that has often been speculated upon. And now with the UP Assembly elections just ... Read more »

Why Chirag and Tejashwi have not joined hands for Bihar bypolls

© Provided by India Today Last Friday, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was seen attending a prayer meeting Chirag Paswan had organised in Delhi to commemorate the first death anniversary ... Read more »

UP police release pictures of suspects involved in Lakhimpur Kheri violence, seek info from public

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Lakhimpur Kheri violence has released pictures of suspects who were involved in the incident. The police ... Read more »

Haiti kidnapping: Gang wants $17 million ransom for American and Canadian missionaries

The gang that kidnapped a group of 17 American and Canadian missionaries in Haiti has asked for $1 million each for their release, a top Haitian official told CNN Tuesday. ... Read more »

Capitol police officer pleads not guilty to obstruction charges over messages with rioter

A U.S. Capitol Police Officer who was charged last week with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly urging a Capitol rioter to remove incriminating posts following the Jan. ... Read more »

Response to burglary in progress results in multiple arrests

Oct. 19—Law enforcement's response to a call of a burglary in progress resulted in at least eight arrests in Stephens County as of Friday. According to Stephens County Sheriff Wayne ... Read more »

Coroner's office IDs man shot, killed in Harrison Twp.

Oct. 19—A man who died after a shooting on Otis Drive in Harrison Twp. last week has been identified. Bruce Davis, 40, of Dayton, died of a gunshot wound, according ... Read more »

Piqua man shot by Troy police arraigned; police identify officers involved

Oct. 19—Bond was set at $775,000 Monday for a former employee of a Troy manufacturing facility accused of firing shots outside the workplace earlier this month before he was shot ... Read more »

Coronavirus: What are the changes to Covid rules from October 22 in Ireland?

© Brian Lawless Protective measures include table service only in hospitality settings (PA) Taoiseach Micheal Martin announced on Tuesday that Ireland would proceed with an easing of restrictions, but with ... Read more »

First bitcoin futures ETF rises 3% in trading debut on the NYSE

Shares of the first U.S. bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund rose slightly in their trading debut on Tuesday. The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, ticker ‘BITO,’ was last up about 3%. The fund ... Read more »

A woman was killed in South Miami-Dade early Tuesday. ‘Domestic related' police say

A shooting early Tuesday morning left a woman in her 40s dead in a Florida City street, Miami-Dade police say. According to Miami-Dade police, which investigates homicides in Florida City, ... Read more »

Fox News host under fire for using Colin Powell's death to launch anti-vaccine mandate rant

Colin Powell died on Monday (Getty Images) It didn’t take long for Fox News to turn the death of former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of ... Read more »

Three-quarters of BBC Newsbeat staff decline to relocate to Birmingham

Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images The vast majority of London-based staff at Radio 1’s Newsbeat service have declined to relocate to a new base in Birmingham, as the BBC faces the challenge ... Read more »

Sir David Amess: MPs' staff defiant after tragedy but admit they never thought ‘office job' would carry risks

Staff who work for MPs voiced defiance after Sir David Amess’s killing, saying they will not be cowed into leaving their jobs over the threat of terrorism. But workers admitted ... Read more »

Glasgow bin workers to strike during Cop26

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Bin workers in Glasgow have confirmed that they will strike during the Cop26 climate conference, amid growing anxieties that the ... Read more »

Mickey Singh's new song 'Sorry' is out

© IANS SORRY Mumbai, Oct 19 (IANS) After the success of songs such as ‘Tu Hi Das De’, ‘Na Na’ and ‘Ptola’, Mickey Singh is understandably excited about his new ... Read more »

Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai: Shivangi Joshi turns emotional as she talks about the experience of playing Naira and Sirat; says, 'It's rare to get a chance to...'

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Shivangi Joshi and Mohsin Khan have officially quit Rajan Shahi’s Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai. The two played loving jodi Naira/Sirat and Kartik on the popular ... Read more »

Mira Rajput shares a funny joke on Kanye, now called Ye & guess what, it has a Kareena Kapoor connection

Shahid Kapoor’s wife Mira Rajput is quite an avid social media user, where she keeps fans entertained and engaged. Keeping up with this trajectory, a few hours back, Mira took ... Read more »

Housing Minister set to brief leaders on revised mica redress scheme

© Provided by Extra.ie Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien is to brief Coalition leaders on the revised mica redress scheme this week. It is understood that the minister will brief Taoiseach ... Read more »

Jasmin Bhasin's 'teri badkismati hai' remark for Bigg Boss 15's Jay Bhanushali's wife Mahhi Vij shocks all; actress issues clarification

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Jasmin Bhasin who was a part of Bigg Boss 14 is one of the most popular actresses of the TV industry currently. Her love connection with ... Read more »

Bigg Boss Telugu 5: VJ Sunny picks up pace in the game; Leaves Nagarjuna impressed

© Provided by Pinkvilla After the weekend eliminations, Swetaa Varma was sent home, leaving 13 competitors in fray for the ‘Bigg Boss Telugu 5’ trophy. Every day that goes by, ... Read more »

Introducing the NEW Prevention circul+ Ring

At Prevention, we know monitoring your health and getting enough sleep is extremely important. There are plenty of smart watches, necklaces, and arm bands to choose from. But, wearing a ... Read more »

Opinion: Nick Rolovich's exit at Washington State leaves football program in disarray

When Nick Rolovich walked out of the Washington State football building Monday night, embarking on a new life of anti-vaccine martyrdom, he left behind more than a $3 million per ... Read more »

Predicting the 2021-22 Western Conference standings, playoffs, Finals

© Provided by NBC Sports After a summer of bold moves such as bringing in Russell Westbrook, the Lakers are grabbing headlines and are the betting favorite to be the ... Read more »

Zach Ertz Thanks Eagles Fans With Full-Page Ad in Philadelphia Inquirer

© Provided by Sports Illustrated Zach Ertz made sure to show his appreciation for the Philly fans after being dealt to Arizona on Oct. 15. View the original article to ... Read more »

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Manchester United boss says Jamie Carragher criticisms will have no effect on him

Carragher suggested Man Utd boss Solskjaer was not at the level of other managers towards the top of the Premier League; watch Man Utd vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm on Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm Read more »

Drone operator will try to rescue dogs from Spanish volcano

© Reuters/LA PALMA LOCAL GOVERMENT / VOLCA Dogs stranded on ash-covered earth surrounded by volcanic lava in Todoque area By Guillermo Martinez LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) – A Spanish drone ... Read more »

Americans warned against travel to Singapore due to 'very high level of COVID-19'

© Getty Images Americans warned against travel to Singapore due to ‘very high level of COVID-19’ The U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning ... Read more »

Nelayan cari kerang ditemui lemas

© Provided by Sinar Harian LUMUT – Seorang nelayan ditemukan lemas selepas dipercayai terjatuh ketika mencari kerang di Kuala Panchor, Pantai Remis di sini pada Selasa. Dalam kejadian kira-kira jam ... Read more »

Vacation Outfit Inspo From The Best Of Bollywood Fashionistas

We all dream of going on that perfect vacation where we get clicked with awesome backdrops and flawless outfits, but what really happens is, that when the time comes to ... Read more »

Alia Bhatt celebrates 'virtual wala love' with Sidharth, Varun as 'SOTY' clocks 9 years

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Actors Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and Sidharth Malhotra have won many hearts with their Bollywood debut ‘Student of the Year’, which on Tuesday, ... Read more »

5 things to do with your pumpkins after Halloween

Halloween pumpkins create a lot of waste, with millions of tonnes of usable gourds sent to landfills annually. Here are five things you can do with pumpkins. 1. MAKE A ... Read more »

Ecuador's president declares 60-day state of emergency over rising crime

By Alexandra Valencia © Reuters/POOL FILE PHOTO: 76th Session of the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York QUITO (Reuters) – Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso late on Monday declared ... Read more »

US regulators lay out plan for over-the-counter hearing aids

WASHINGTON (AP) — Health regulators on Tuesday unveiled their proposal to allow Americans to buy hearing aids without a prescription, a long-awaited move intended to make the devices more accessible ... Read more »

PIP back payments: Who's eligible to claim up to £15,000 from DWP after rule change and how to apply

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants could be eligible to claim up to £15,000, following a rule change. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced plans to change the process ... Read more »