Cllr Penny Carpenter, the deputy leader of the Great Yarmouth Borough Council, on a press briefing this afternoon said: “The Fire at the Regent Superbowl and Indoor Market was devastating for the Great Yarmouth borough and our thoughts are very much with those who have lost their jobs and livelihoods.
In addition to contributing £2,000 to a firefighting appeal, the council is seeking to help the affected traders to find an alternative suitable trading location. To get a better idea of their needs, the council is inviting them to drop-in session tomorrow. Advice will also be available in a number of areas, including business support, business rates/council tax, business continuity and insurance.
In relation to the site, public safety remains the top priority for both the council and Mr Thompson, the property owner. Council officers are continuing to monitor the site, liaise with emergency services and work closely with Mr Thompson, to help him meet his responsibilities as private property owner.
Mr Thompson has confirmed he has approached a contractor in order to put in place the safety and security measures which the council has required. Detailed discussions will take place with the contractor tomorrow around exact timescales for installing a more sturdy barrier to improve security. It is hoped that work will start on the new barrier on Friday.
Thanks to the planned location of the new barrier, there will be a much wider walkway past the front of the site along Regent Road, helping tourists and businesses. Around the back, Albion Road will be able to re-open and people will be able to access their homes from the front.
On Friday, the contractor will take over from the fire service the responsibility for damping down the rubble, known to contain asbestos, in order to ensure it remains as safe as possible until the site is cleared. The site will be kept damp with a fogging/misting system.
The borough council would like demolition and clearance to start as soon as possible and we ask for the public’s patience. Once Mr Thompson has successfully tendered for a contractor, the contractor will then need to seek approval on its proposed method from the Health and Safety Executive.
Despite the challenges of the past few days, it is also important to say that Great Yarmouth and Regent Road are very much open for businesses. The town is still buzzing with tourists enjoying the peak holiday season and the all attractions and atmosphere that the borough has to offer. “