Work to create a new children’s play area along the seafront in Lowestoft will begin over the next few weeks, following the approval of funding from East Suffolk Council.
At the final Cabinet meeting of Waveney District Council, held on 13 March, it was agreed that £123,500 of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding would be made available to support an extension to the play area at Royal Green in Lowestoft. CIL contributions are collected by the Council from developers and support the creation of new infrastructure. An additional £1,500 in funding was made available from Section 106 contributions.
Delivered by East Suffolk Council in partnership with Sentinel Leisure Trust and Norse, the extension to the play park will provide a self-contained toddler play area with inclusive play equipment for disabled users.
Additional funding of £10,000 was contributed by the Lowestoft Tourism Group. Representatives from the group, along with officers from the Council’s Funding, Planning and Economic Regeneration Teams, local businesses, Norse and contractors Sutcliffe Play visited the site on 3 April to officially break the ground.
A spokesperson for East Suffolk Council said: “These exciting new facilities will provide play opportunities for younger children and give families another reason to visit our beautiful beach and seafront area. Our contractors, Sutcliffe Play, will begin work shortly and it is hoped the play area will be ready for children to enjoy during the summer season.”
A spokesperson for the Lowestoft Tourism Group said: “The Group is delighted that Phase 2 of the Royal Green children’s play park is finally happening. We have been campaigning and fundraising for this to happen for the past 12 years, wonderful news!”
Hayley Clarke, owner of nearby Tides Reach said: “The park, which is supported by local businesses, will be a great addition to the area and will attract more families.”
The project is part of wider regeneration plans for the seafront and achieves several of the objectives within the Lowestoft Seafront Vision, developed by the Council and the Lowestoft Coastal Community Team, working with Hemingway Design. These objectives include the development of new seafront amenities, increasing visitor numbers and promoting an active seafront.
The seafront, in particular the South Beach, is the main tourist attraction for the town with the award-winning beach providing a huge draw to the majority of the 1.2m visitors who come here each year. Through new facilities, events and attractions, there is potential to broaden and enhance the visitor experience and encourage visitors to spend the day, or longer.
One of the main projects from the seafront vision was the creation of a brand new festival for Lowestoft, celebrating the town’s most easterly location. The First Light Festival, a free 24-hour multi-arts festival will take place in June on the South Beach. The festival, celebrating Lowestoft’s position as the first place that sun rises in the UK, will begin at noon on Saturday 22 June and will run continuously through changing tides, light and darkness, sun and stars until noon on Sunday 23 June.
Find out more about the South Beach regeneration at lowestoftsouthbeach.co.uk