GREAT Yarmouth’s historic Venetian Waterways have scooped a coveted award that recognises well managed parks and green spaces around the world.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council, in partnership with Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, has led an ongoing £2.7m restoration of the Grade II-listed seafront park, supported by The National Lottery.

Following the successful re-opening of the Waterways site at Easter, judges for the Green Flag Award visited. Successful sites must show that they manage a quality space with a clear idea of what they are trying to achieve, why, and who they seek to serve.

Today, it is announced that the Waterways has not only achieved Green Flag status but also Green Heritage Site Accreditation, which is awarded to public green spaces that are managed to Green Flag Award standards and whose owners actively understand, identify and promote the heritage that make that site unique.

A record number of applications were made in the UK for the 2019 Green Flag Award, managed by the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, with 2,023 sites seeking the prestigious award, ranging from world famous parks to local community green spaces.

The results have been announced to coincide with UK Love Parks Week. To mark this special week, the council is inviting local residents and businesses to participate in a Community Clean Up at the Waterways, including litter-picking and weeding.

This will take place on Friday, July 19, from noon to 3pm, and will include the hoisting of the Green Flag at the park. Anyone interested in lending a hand is asked to turn up and check in at the central bandstand.

Cllr Graham Plant, chairman of the economic development committee, said: “For the Waterways to have achieved the Green Flag Award so soon after re-opening is a huge accolade and tribute to the work of the project team, our gardeners and the many volunteers involved.

“Anyone who has visited the Waterways will know how lovely it looks, and it will only get better as the planting scheme matures and our wonderful volunteers continue the restoration of this very special place. I look forward to seeing the Green Flag flying proudly within the park as a mark of this significant achievement.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager, Paul Todd, said: “It’s fantastic that we have more Green Flag Awards in the UK than ever before, joined this year by 131 International winners.

“Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We congratulate each and every winner on their fantastic achievement.”

The Waterways restoration has been funded by a £1.7m National Lottery grant awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, plus further support from the borough council, New Anglia LEP and the Government. The Boating Lake and Island Café are due to re-open during the summer holidays.

The project aims to involve the community in enhancing and interpreting a unique community facility, tourist attraction and heritage asset, supporting the local economy, boosting civic pride and providing people with meaningful opportunities to improve skills and access further training or employment.

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