With its golden sands stretching for miles and two piers dating back to the 19th Century, the Norfolk resort of Great Yarmouth was once a mecca for fishermen and holidaymakers. Its fortunes have since waned, with areas of real deprivation. But could the seaside town be bouncing back?
In its fishing industry heyday, boats full of herring would be loaded onto the quayside.
The silver darling, as it was then known, was the town’s lifeblood and it was said you could cross the River Yare by walking on the decks of the drifters.
Today, work has started on bridging the port in a different way. It is hoped a £120m third river crossing, linking the south of the town and the A47, will relieve pressure on the existing bridges.
But this scheme is just one of many big money investments in an area hoping to become the UK’s City of Culture in 2025.
The title could be very important for the town, where a quarter of neighbourhoods are among the most deprived in England.
Earnings, life expectancy, GCSE results and major health measures are all worse than the national average.
‘It’s a place of promise’
One person trying change this is Ruben Cruz. He was 16 when he emigrated from Portugal to join family in Great Yarmouth.
He enrolled on a performing arts course in Norwich but later returned to the seaside town as he liked the community feel.
The dancer and curator set up the Reprezent Project social enterprise, which runs arts events and workshops for young people.
“I think these are massive changes,” the 26-year-old says.
“It is very important to invest in Yarmouth – they have been investing so much, but they have got to do so much.
“It got stuck in time – it used to have the fishing industry – but we need to look at new ways of attracting people.
“It’s a place of promise.”
He brought Canadian artist Brent Ray Fraser to the town in 2018 for its annual graffiti festival to inspire young people.
“We wanted to bring that guy because we were having issues [with groups of youngsters] outside McDonald’s.
“We engaged with them… sometimes you have to take a big step.”
Reprezent has painted nine murals across Great Yarmouth, to help give young people pride in their town.
“We want people to find art. We want to do something amazing for the community that people can enjoy every day.
“Everything I’m doing is to make an example for my three-year-old son… I found myself here and I’m loving it.”