A £710,000 transformation of the railway station forecourt in Great Yarmouth has been officially opened.
Project partners from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, Norfolk County Council, Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Greater Anglia all gathered to mark the occasion. The project has seen the creation of new pick-up and drop-off points, better links to the town centre and landscape improvements – all designed to help increase footfall and encourage more people to use rail links in the area.
The work is part of a wider £2.2m project funded through the LEP’s Growth Deal with Government. Previous phases of the project included improvements to The Conge and North Quay, while plans for the final phase involve completing the Vauxhall Gardens cycle link to the Marketplace and planting of the Wherry Gardens.
Jonathan Rudd, Growth Deal Manager at New Anglia LEP, says: “The completion of this project creates a hugely improved experience for rail users in Great Yarmouth and visitors to the town alike. Great Yarmouth is a priority place in the Economic Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk. This is the first in a range of projects benefitting from more than £20m in funding through our Growth Deal with Government, helping to unlock housing and commercial development, create growth and improve the town’s offer to the world. It’s a really positive story that we’re delighted to be a part of.”
Jake Berry, Minister for Local Growth, says: “This government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future. “The Local Growth Fund continues to fund key infrastructure projects across the UK. This includes the redevelopment of the forecourt at Great Yarmouth Railway Station which has received £710,000 of LGF. This project will transform the entrance to the railway station, provide an improved arrival experience and support wider planned projects for the area.”
Cllr Martin Wilby, Chair of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development and Transport Committee, says: “The railway station of any town or city is an important gateway for its visitors and commuters. Over the last seven months, Great Yarmouth’s station forecourt has gone from a space in need of improving and updating to somewhere the town can be proud of.
“Not only does it provide a welcoming arrival area but by transforming the surrounding landscape and creating better connections into the centre, I’m confident we’ll see more visitors taking advantage of the regular train services and new pedestrian and cycle links.”
Mick Castle, Norfolk County Councillor for Yarmouth North and Central, says: “I am absolutely delighted with the work that has transformed the station forecourt. Not only has it enhanced the landscape of the immediate area, it has improved pedestrian and cycle links to the town centre. Great Yarmouth sees more than six million day-trippers each year and over four million overnight stays so it’s really important that train services are sustained and improved for the future. With brand new trains scheduled to come into service in 2019, it is fitting that those arriving and leaving by train will now benefit from the improved connections provided for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and bus travellers, and this will enhance the experience for both local residents and visitors to the town.”
Cllr Graham Plant, Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, says: “In support of the wider Town Centre Masterplan, both councils have been working together to boost the visitor experience and the connections in and around town, with the works focusing on improvements to highways, public sector transport gateways and signage. “The railway station forecourt redevelopment, representing more than £700,000 investment in our borough, helps to enhance the sense of arrival to the town and people’s first impressions, which are so crucial in the formation of attitudes towards a place and decisions around investment. “It also complements the recent upgrades to the bus station, as well as the enhanced pedestrian signage which aims to encourage visitors to explore the town, signposting pedestrians to the town centre from key gateways, and between the town centre, seafront and vice versa.”
Simone Bailey, Asset Management Director for Greater Anglia, says: “I’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding while this work has been ongoing. The result is a fantastic new station forecourt which offers a much better layout for pedestrians, cyclists, taxis and buses, improves links to the town centre and creates a much more attractive welcome to people as they arrive in Great Yarmouth by train.”