Town Centre News

Skate Yarmouth festivities to boost town centre this Christmas

GREAT Yarmouth is announcing its magical line-up of activities and attractions to support festive footfall in the town centre this Christmas, which will get underway with the opening of the real ice rink and Christmas Fayre on Friday, November 24.

In a nod to the high-profile headline attraction, which will be in the Market Square from Friday, November 24 to Tuesday, January 2, the festive offer will be promoted under the slogan Skate Yarmouth: Glide through your Christmas Shopping #SkateYarmouth

Promoted jointly by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership, Skate Yarmouth offers a shopping bag stuffed full of festive delights, including a skate on the open-air rink, late night shopping, magical events, free parking and even the chance to meet Santa!

The seasonal fun will get underway with festive food, stalls and entertainment at the Great Yarmouth Christmas Fayre, which will take place on the Market Place and in the Priory Centre and Minster, from Friday, November 24 to Sunday, November 26. The fayre will run from 10am to 8pm on Friday, 9am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

The rink, organised by the borough council as part of its Town Centre Initiative, will open for the first time from noon on the Friday and will open late for the Christmas Lights Switch-on that evening, with entertainment from 6pm and fireworks at 7pm. Rink opening times will be confirmed soon, and tickets can be booked from early November.

As with previous years, the Lardal Kantori Choir will give a concert of traditional Norwegian and English carols in the Minster on Saturday, November 25, at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £8 in advance or £10 on the door. 

After the Christmas Fayre, Late Night Shopping will get underway, with shops open until 8pm every Wednesday, from November 29 through to December 20. The rink will also open especially late on these days.

As a festive treat just for the grown-ups, the Great Yarmouth Winter Beer & Cider Festival will be staged at St George’s Theatre, from Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 3, offering a selection of real ales, craft beers and ciders.

Saturday 2nd December sees the arrival of Father Christmas to take residence in his Santa's Grotto in the market square whilst children will be able to write and send the letter to him in the Santa's Post Office which will also open in the square that day. 

The annual Lantern Parade, from Christchurch to the Christmas tree in the Market Place, will take place on Wednesday, December 6, at 6pm. The carol-singing will continue with the Civic Carol Service in the Minster on Monday, December 11, at 7pm.

The Minster will also be the venue for the popular annual Tree and Crib Festival, which will bring additional festive colour to the minster from Friday, December 8 to Sunday, December 17, from 10am to 3pm (starting 11am on Sundays). Tickets are £2 on the door. Children free-of-charge.

In addition, a performance of Handel’s Messiah, by Merry Opera, will be staged in the Minster on Friday, December 15, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm. Entrance is free-of-charge, funded by the Big Lottery Fund. No need to book in advance.

Ice hockey tournament!

A fast-paced ice hockey tournament will take place on the ice rink on Sunday, December 10, from 8.30am to noon. Organised jointly with Hockey Tutorial, the UK Winter Classic will be free to watch and involve amateur teams from across the UK.   

Free parking!

Festive shoppers in Great Yarmouth town centre will benefit from free all-day parking every Sunday in most town centre surface car parks, from Sunday, November 26 to Sunday, December 30, 2017. The incentive by Great Yarmouth Borough Council will be run over six Sundays at the car parks in King Street, Stone Cutters Way, Brewery Plain, Fullers Hill, George Street, Market Place and Howard Street (Palmers).

Parking remains free in most town centre surface car parks every weekday from 4pm, and free from noon on Wednesdays, at King Street, Brewery Plain and George Street. Plus free parking incentives are available with a Resident Advantage Card and through the Town Centre Partnership’s First Hour Free initiative.

Ice rink sponsorship opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities are available for businesses to be associated with this attraction. To enquire, contact David Helsdon on 01493 846343 or  


Cllr Barry Coleman, chairman of the economic development committee, said: “Skate Yarmouth, part of the Town Centre Initiative to boost the town centre, aims to support retail footfall and the local economy by providing additional reasons for people to shop in the town centre over the all-important festive period.

“This year promises a really impressive line-up of Christmas activities, including the open-air ice rink, and I encourage everyone to visit, to buy some presents, to have fun with friends and family, and to support their town centre.”

Town centre manager, Jonathan Newman, of the Town Centre Partnership, said: “The return of the ice rink to the Market Square this Christmas, along with the many other seasonal events and activities planned, will create a fantastic festive atmosphere for the town centre, making it the place to visit and shop for Christmas this year and giving a much-needed boost to local businesses."





Town Centre Master Plan approved by Borough Councillors

The Town Centre Masterplan aims to transform the town centre and improve links between different parts of it over the coming decade.

The ambition is to strengthen the town centre as a commercial and cultural hub, and meet future needs and challenges.

Shaped through two public consultations, discussions with partners and commercial testing, the core of the Masterplan is to build confidence, highlight opportunities, and secure investment, by setting out a clear vision, led by the borough council and backed by key partners in the community.

A partnership board will be set up between the key stakeholders to guide the regeneration activities and monitor plans and progress.

With £1 million of council money behind it, the masterplan is the longer term element of the borough council’s Town Centre Initiative to boost the town centre.

In a joint statement, the council’s political group leaders, Graham Plant, Kay Grey, Trevor Wainwright and Adrian Myers, said by 2025 there will be new investment and employment in the town centre generating renewed pride.

They added: “The public tell us that boosting the town centre is a top priority and we are responding. The masterplan represents a powerful statement of intent from the borough council and community to make a positive change, to work together and make a compelling case for investment, setting out commercially-realistic yet flexible ambitions, and highlighting the unique features that make our town centre so unique and valuable.

“These are big, challenging projects requiring significant investment and joint working, but we know they are deliverable and we urge everyone to remain positive and patient while work continues ‘behind the scenes’.”

During the public consultation in January on the draft masterplan, the council received more than 150 individual responses, with about 100 people attending workshops. Improvements made as a result of feedback include bringing forward the timetable of works for Hall Plain, expanding the station gateway project to include all gateways into the town centre and expanding the masterplan area to include the Minster.


The six key Masterplan projects are:


• Strengthening the Heart of the Town Centre

By 2025, the heart of the town centre – around the junction of King Street and Regent Road – has regained its vitality with a range of new occupiers and operators including a leisure-based anchor (for example a cinema), cafes, bars and restaurants.

• Improving the market and Market Place

By 2025, trade and custom in the six and two day markets is greatly improved, supported by new stalls and service facilities and by the newly-paved Market Place. Together with the improved frontages this has created a beautiful setting for an expanded programme of events.

• Transforming the Conge

By 2025, The Conge is transformed, with new mixed-use development lining both sides of the lower half of the street, and the next phase ready for delivery connecting it to the renewed Market Place.

• Creating a sense of arrival at the town centre

By 2025, the setting of Fullers Hill, Acle New Road, the roundabout, train station and quayside creates a new sense of arrival at this key junction of road, rail and water, linked to the new development on The Conge.

• Unlocking the potential of Hall Plain

By 2025, the council has adopted guidance to ensure existing buildings are conserved and developed appropriately. With the 3rd river crossing near completion, there is significant commercial interest in refurbishment and new development.

• Linking it all together

By 2025, wayfinding is improved across the town through investemnt in key parts of the network of Rows and streets, with footfall significantly increased and commercial vacancies significantly reduced.

The Masterplan can be read in full at







Palmers 180th Anniversary celebrations

To celebrate 180 years in the town the independent department store has filled its main window with 180 items. Spanning furniture and fashion, mugs and make-up people will be asked to decide what its all worth to be in with the chance of winning the lot. The contents will be unveiled at 9.15am on Friday May 5th and it’s hoped local folk will turn out in support and be among the first to have a go at working out the cost.

Saturday May 6th sees the launch of the store’s shopping festival with 20pc off throughout all deparments including cosmetics until Wednesday May 10th. It is also the main party day with live music, canapes, and drinks.

The Win the Window competition runs until May 29 and the winner will be announced May 30. The contents will be delivered to their home anywhere in the country.

The original Palmers shop was opened by Garwood Burton Palmer in the reign of King William IV in 1837.

The business started as a linen mercer’s and silk drapers in the Market Place which had been the busiest trading centre of Great Yarmouth for centuries.



Use any of the Great Yarmouth Borough Council town centre car parks and spend £10 or more in one transaction at participating retailers to get the equivalent cost of 1 hours parking discounted off your purchase*

*On redemption of voucher from ticket machine, T's&C's apply

Click here for details

24.11.17 - Christmas Light Switch-On
Christmas in Great Yarmouth gets officially underway on Friday as Her Worship the Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Councillor Kerry Robinson Payne, takes to the stage to switch on the towns festive illuminations and Christmas tree lights. The Mayor will be joined by her special guest, the Michelin Star Celebrity Chef Galton Blackiston, to assist her in pushing down the all important Christmas Lights plunger.  The ceremony will form part of an evening of entertainment from 5.30pm with live music and a roof top firework display that coincides with the first day of the annual Great Yarmouth Christmas Fayre and the opening of the real ice rink in the town centre. The entertainment takes place on The Beach Soundstage which has been moved this year along with the Christmas Tree to the market place on the north side of the covered market as its normal location in the market square is occupied by the real ice rink. There will be live singing and dancing from local theatre and dance schools ‘Centre Stage’ and ‘Iceni’ plus some upbeat Christmas tunes from top local pop artists Penny Hannant and Gaby Starbuck to warm up the crowd ahead of the countdown shortly before 7pm. Making the introductions and keeping an eye on the time will be The Beach, Radio Norwich and North Norfolk Radio presenters Rob Chandler and Paul Carter. Rob makes a welcome return to the Christmas Lights event having presented it for a number of years with former radio colleague Chrissie Jackson. Her Worship the Mayor and special guests will take to the stage to join in the countdown which will take place at 7.00pm with the switch on of the Christmas Lights immediately followed by a fantastic pyrotechnic display from the roof of Market Gates shopping centre. The live music will continue after the fireworks with a performance from the Invidia Voices Choir whilst town centre shops and Christmas Fayre stalls in the Minster and on the market place will be open until 8pm.   Free parking is available in all Borough Council town centre car parks from 4.00pm (except the Market Place) and the ice rink will be open for last admissions until 9pm.
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