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Morgan Sindall converts Great Yarmouth department store

15 Sep 23 Morgan Sindall Construction has started work on the conversion of the former Palmers department store in Great Yarmouth into a new public library and education facility.

Artist's impression of The Place, formerly Palmers department store
Artist's impression of The Place, formerly Palmers department store

The £17m project for Great Yarmouth Borough Council will create a new home for town’s library, Citizen’s Advice centre, a registry office and adult learning facilities.

To be called the Place, the revamped building will also house a ‘multipurpose learning hub’ with classrooms, IT labs, art and photography studios, technology and medical classrooms, and simulation hospital and function space. 

This will be the base for the University Learning Centre, from where East Coast College and the University of Suffolk will offer degree and diploma courses, as well as access to higher education and adult learning courses. 

The project is being by an £8.1m grant from the government’s Town Deal, with a further £3.4m from the Future High Streets Fund. The connected East Coast College and the University of Suffolk are also contributing £3.5m, with Norfolk County Council chipping in with £2m.

Morgan Sindall’s work at The Place will be split across two phases, with the initial phase overseeing the completion of repairs to the roof. This will then be followed by full refurbishment works, which are scheduled to start at the end of 2023.

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In addition to this, Morgan Sindall will also do public realm improvement works and landscape Great Yarmouth’s Market Place. 

Morgan Sindall built the £26m Marina leisure centre for Great Yarmouth Borough Council last year.  It got this job via a Scape framework

Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: “It is extremely exciting for Great Yarmouth to finally see this much-loved building being given a new lease of life.

“We are delighted to be once again working with Morgan Sindall and now the building works are underway it won’t be long until this fantastic venue will open its doors and begin providing first-class education and services for the people of the borough.”

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