Restoration of Nelson's Monument, also known as the Norfolk Naval Pillar, began back on August 2nd 2004 , with work expected to be completed by the end of September 2005 in time to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust, Norfolk County Council, and Great Yarmouth Borough Council combined forces to drive forward the project, which will consolidate the Monument for future generations and bring its history to life for local people and visitors alike.
The Monument is being restored thanks to an £846,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), with Norfolk County Council also making a contribution of £84,000 towards the work, with contributions also coming from Great Yarmouth Borough Council (£12,000), English Heritage (£110,000), Objective 2 European Regional Development Fund (£74,000), WREN Environmental (£25,000), Bernard Matthews (£20,000), and the 1805 Society (£500).
Whilst the building is undergoing its restoration, information about how the building was constructed is contributing to knowledge of the historical context of the building and collections held in Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service relating to the Monument. This research is enabling the construction of a website which will provide off-site interpretation of the Monument and learning resources connected to the building. There is also a series of events and exhibitions linked to the project to raise awareness of this unique and fascinating Grade I listed building.
One of the major outcomes of the restoration project will be improved facilities for visitors to the building. There will be signposting to the area, seating and interpretation of the building to stimulate engagement with the history of the building, people connected to the building and the changes to the South Denes area. From summer 2006 there will be a series of open days when the enclosure gates will be open to the public and volunteers will be available to provide further information. Display boards will be developed to give more in depth information about the restoration process and issues raised by a conservation project such as this.
Robyn Greenblatt, Regional Manager for HLF in the East of England, said:
"This is a great project and another piece of the jigsaw in Great Yarmouth's regeneration. Heritage sites have had a big role to play in building a sense of identity in the town, and we are delighted to reflect this rejuvenation by bringing Nelson's spirit to life for local people and visitors alike. The monument gives Great Yarmouth an important link to a past that locals should be very proud of."