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Lowestoft students reveal future vision

PUBLISHED: 09:08 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:31 11 May 2010

THEY are the people likely to be working and raising families in Yarmouth and Lowestoft in 15 years time.

And yesterday (Wednesday) students from the area's schools and colleges were given the chance to present their own visions of the future to planners who are shaping the regeneration of waterfront areas in both ports.

THEY are the people likely to be working and raising families in Yarmouth and Lowestoft in 15 years time.

And yesterday (Wednesday) students from the area's schools and colleges were given the chance to present their own visions of the future to planners who are shaping the regeneration of waterfront areas in both ports.

Ideas ranged from a new Yarmouth station in the striking shape of a Rubik's cube to a series of domes on the resort's seafront, housing a water park, sports centre and music arena.

In Lowestoft, students envisaged a High Street transformed by a glass roof and solar panels, and a new-look station incorporating a shopping mall, inspired by the regeneration of London's St Pancras station.

In a project organised by EnterpriseGY and 1st East - the waterfront regeneration company working to transform derelict sites in both towns - students were encouraged to develop their own ideas for the future, mentored by post-graduate students from Greenwich University.

At Yarmouth Town Hall on Wednesday, they presented their ideas to the 1st East board and, at a later stage, will have the chance to talk to the urban planners working on the final detailed blueprint for the regeneration areas.

EnterpriseGY spokesman John Armstrong said students had tackled the problems with the freshness of youth.

1st East chief executive Philip Watkins said their input was important as they would be reaping the benefits of the 10-15 year plans.

He said surveys carried out by the youngsters showed a depressing 70pc of people did not see their long-term future in the towns - but with the benefit of regeneration, already happening, views would change.

Students from Gorleston's Oriel High School came up with the idea of making a feature out of the historic ice house next to Yarmouth's Haven Bridge, illuminating it and incorporating thematic features such as an ice rink.

Youngsters at Flegg High School, Martham, dreamed up the Rubik's cube station as a grand entrance to Yarmouth and suggested riverside walks and a Covent Garden-style entertainment area as other ways of lifting a drab part of town. They also saw the eyesore Havenbridge House office block being turned into a hotel.

East Norfolk Sixth Form College students envisaged an EU shopping centre off Yarmouth's Southtown Road and a Medieval quay with traditional boat building and thatched houses.

Seafront domes were the brainchild of Yarmouth High School students and the Kirkley High School team devised the plans for the Lowestoft revamp.

The focus of Acle High School's team was on environmental improvements with new sports and leisure facilities.

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