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  • Writer's picturePaul Andrews

New Great Yarmouth Library Named

The name has been revealed for a new £17 million library, university and learning centre based in Great Yarmouth which the University of Suffolk will offer courses from.

The former Palmers department store in the town will be known as The Place, which will be the base of a new University Learning Centre from next September 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 University of East Anglia will also offer courses from the five-storey building, as well as being the home to Norfolk County Council’s Great Yarmouth public library – currently based in Tolhouse Road – and adult learning, registry office and other community services such as Citizens Advice.

The ambitious project is being funded via £8.1m from the government's Town Deal, with a further £3.4m from the Future High Streets Fund. East Coast College and the University of Suffolk are contributing £3.5m and Norfolk County Council £2m.

Professor Mohammad Dastbaz, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Suffolk, said: "The Place has the potential to significantly impact the community in Great Yarmouth and the surrounding area. As a community-impact institution with a vision to transform our region and lives, we strongly believe in raising aspirations and access to higher education. The Place will not only welcome people of all ages to engage with courses from the University of Suffolk but also create opportunities for them to change or establish new career paths."

Stuart Rimmer, Chief Executive of East Coast College, said: "Bringing more adult learning and higher university study into the heart of the town makes it easier to access. We'll be able to bring a new offer to a greater number of residents. We are really proud to be a key partner in this once-in-a-generation opportunity to increase university study in the borough."

The aim is to increase the number of people in the area who hold qualifications above Level 4 to help them gain high-quality and sustainable jobs.

Councillor Carl Smith, Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader, said: ''This amazing new learning hub not only provides a modern and welcoming library for the community, but also offers the people of Great Yarmouth fantastic new opportunities to learn and attain qualifications that are crucial to delivering the jobs and careers of the future.”

Norwich-based design and branding consultancy Sponge was commissioned by the council to assist with the naming and branding and, via interviews and focus groups, it consulted widely with the community to help develop an appropriate name and identity for the building.

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for communities and partnerships, said: "The Place signifies a huge investment in the town and will bring Norfolk County Council services and partners together to create a unique learning environment.”


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