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Published on : Thursday, November 7, 2013
Norwich’s Youngsters, innovated an idea of underground restaurant where diners can watch, as well as eat, fish and an artificial beach with a wave machine, to turn Norwich into a surfing hotspot. This idea might be Outlandish; however, passionate city youngsters have been praised for their inventive ideas to make more use of the city’s waterways.
The Year 10 students at Norwich’s Notre Dame High School were challenged by Jonathan Hooton, the head of geography at the school and vice-chairman of civic watchdog The Norwich Society, to think of ways to rejuvenate the river. Moreover, while some of the student’s ideas were rather radical, campaigners who have long argued the potential of the river Wensum is being wasted, said planners should take a leaf out of their book.
One of the most motivated ideas was for a £6m artificial beach and surfing centre – an idea developed by Leon Culot, Daniel Carroll and Ben Mills, all aged 15. The scheme would develop waves up to four metres high by using a 30-metre wide point break wave machine and heat-treat the water up to 30C – the same as the Gulf of Mexico. Over and above the 200-metre long beach, the development envisages a California-themed family restaurant and surfing equipment hire centre.
An additional team of 15-year-old boys – Nick Barnham, Will Showler, Ben Boys, and Josiah Carmona, came up with the suggestion of a boat bus. That bus, aimed at both tourists and commuters, would feature stops including Carrow Road, Thorpe Station, Fye Bridge and St George’s.
Three 15-year-old girls – Rebecca Wren, Florence Bond and Maddy Cahalan-Penning, take their motivation from Cambridge’s highly developed use of the River Cam for tourism and leisure. They advise floating restaurants, as well as an underwater eatery where diners can view the fish at their leisure. They also imagine much greater use of watersports and race days to entice crowds.
Chief executive of Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART), Mike Loveday, said, “It’s really inspiring to see what bright young people, unrestrained by the shackles of risk aversion, can come up with. While come of the ideas generated might be seen as rather radical, it’s always good to encourage thinking out of the box and taking a more lateral approach to problem solving.”