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Latest from The Iron Duke

PRESS RELEASE – October 2023

Planning the restoration of The Iron Duke continues as Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust (GYPT) works with stakeholders and a range of experts to move through the development phase of The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s grant award. The building has been comprehensively surveyed by heritage professionals, including measured surveys, asbestos survey as well as undertaking business planning and historic and architectural analysis. This work has been crucial as a careful and faithful restoration requires a full understanding of the building’s construction, history and future restoration. In addition, tender drawings for the repair and restoration of the roof, and a public consultation that received nearly 600 responses both online and in person have been completed. The results of the consultation reinforced the community’s overwhelming desire to see The Iron Duke restored and brought back into use. To view the report from the consultation please go the Preservation Trust’s website.

This subsequent report pulled together the results and showed the consensus preferred end use was for a hybrid food and beverage offer – retaining aspects of the public house heritage of the building and offering a quality food and eating offer. This is in line with the original feasibility study and for the assessment of proposals under which Zaks were appointed as preferred provider as part of a competitive procurement process. The next stage of the project will enable the development of detailed proposals both for the restoration, style, aesthetic and interiors of the restored building and for its food and beverage offer.

We are aware of concerns as to the current condition of The Iron Duke and the progress of its restoration. We share the concern for the deterioration for this important building at risk and the need to restore and bring it back to productive use.

Recently, a roofing contractor has been appointed, following a public procurement exercise and work will start on site in January 2024 with enabling works in December 2023. The roof repairs are a critical stage as they will prevent the building's deterioration and enable the team to progress to full restoration. The works will repair and renew vulnerable parts of the roof and structure to safeguard the existing historic fabric.

The restoration of The Iron Duke is the latest project being delivered by GYPT, who have an excellent track record in the conservation of historic buildings, including the Time and Tide Museum, five merchants’ houses in King Street, Hopton Ruined Church, The Waterways and St Georges Theatre which were delivered in partnership with Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

The Iron Duke project is still in its two-year development stage, which is a critical part of the project funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, in order to test ideas and develop plans to sensitively restore the building and its historic character. Much work is still to be done for both planning the repairs and future operation. In this phase, work is being undertaken to test the viability and ensure that once faithfully restored back to its art deco splendour, The Iron Duke will have a long and sustainable future.

To secure the next phase of the funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, the GYPT will prepare a second-round application for the full funding award of

£2,025,698, which will be fully considered by the Midlands & East committee of the Heritage Fund. This and other funding will be essential for the Trust to pay for the conservation and repair costs and features such as the original wall murals as the building has a substantial conservation deficit. It is important to note that the patient conservation of nationally important historic buildings takes time. If the project is successful, it is anticipated The Iron Duke could re-open to the public in Winter 2025.

There will be greater opportunity for public involvement and consultation as plans develop. GYPT are using their website to let people know what is happening and hope to offer more regular updates at

About The Iron Duke

The Iron Duke is a grade II listed building purchased by GYPT in December 2020. Since purchase the trust has made the building wind and weather tight, undertaken emergency repairs and secured the building against unlawful ingress and vandalism. Undertaken full measured and topographic survey, produced a heritage statement, analysis and research. Undertaken clearance of the grounds, removed accumulated and hazardous waste and undertaken asbestos survey work. Produced a detailed project plan, feasibility study, options appraisal and business plan.

About Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust

Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust was established in 1979 as a registered charity with a vision to preserve, safeguard and promote the cultural heritage of Great Yarmouth. One of the longest running building preservation trusts in the UK the trust acquires heritage assets at risk, fully restores them back to a viable and economic use. The trust has developed and created a pioneering approach to community engagement and training.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant applications over £250,000 are assessed in two rounds. The Iron Duke project has initially been granted round one development funding of £293,356 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £2,025,698

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

Since the National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK.

Each week, thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised for good causes across the UK.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Daren Barker MBE at Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust on 07760 166373


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