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New casino plans for Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 09:39 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:40 06 July 2010

A leading developer interested in building Yarmouth's large casino has firmly placed his chips on a borough council-owned Golden Mile site.

Trevor Osborne, whose Bath-based property group has led high-quality projects across Britain, including the regeneration of Oxford Castle and Bournemouth Pavilion, said he saw the large casino as a "lever to lift the quality in Yarmouth".

A leading developer interested in building Yarmouth's large casino has firmly placed his chips on a borough council-owned Golden Mile site.

Trevor Osborne, whose Bath-based property group has led high-quality projects across Britain, including the regeneration of Oxford Castle and Bournemouth Pavilion, said he saw the large casino as a “lever to lift the quality in Yarmouth”.

Conscious of at least two rivals interested in building the casino on the same site - a strip of seafront which includes the Marina Centre - Mr Osborne declined to disclose details of his scheme for commercial reasons. However he said his proposal was for a mixed leisure development involving an invest-ment “considerably more” than the estimated £35m cost of the two casino schemes unveiled so far - Pleasure Beach boss Albert Jones's plan next to the outer harbour and a scheme being put forward by Patrick Duffy around his existing Palace Casino.

He said: “We are convinced the Golden Mile is the right place for the casino. It is an established leisure location and would help to connect the beach area to the town centre.”

Yarmouth's leisure facilities had failed to keep pace with modern aspirations and the footfall generated by the casino would allow the investment in new attractions, he said. Giving reassurance to people concerned about the future of the Marina Centre - the borough's main swimming pool - he said they were planning to upgrade and remodel the centre rather than demolish it.

“It would be a terrible waste to throw away that big investment by the local authority,” he said.

The Trevor Osborne Group was represented at a casino open day organised by the borough council last week, which attracted 25 people.

Prospective developers were told the council would be likely to advertise the licence for the casino - one of only eight nationwide - in the gambling press in the autumn with a closing date for applications next spring. If there is more than one application, the licensing process will go into a second stage when the council will decide which scheme would bring the greatest benefit to the borough in terms of regeneration and all-year-round jobs.

The council's managing director Richard Packham told the gathering the casino would be a “key stone in the arch of our tourism revival”.

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