East Suffolk Council is celebrating the award of three quarters of a million pounds in Government funding to invest in capital projects in Lowestoft.
The regeneration of East Point Pavilion, located on Lowestoft’s seafront, has been identified as a key project to benefit from an advance grant through the Government’s Towns Fund, which specifically calls for projects which can be delivered by March 2021.
As part of the draft investment plan for Lowestoft, several key projects were assessed to determine which were most suitable to receive this funding. Careful consideration was given to a range of capital projects, in terms of readiness, impact, value for money and deliverability within the timescales and criteria set out by the Government.
From these projects, the first phase of the regeneration of the East Point Pavilion was deemed to be the most appropriate and achievable within the timeframe. The council has therefore proposed that the majority of the grant funding, £720,000, is allocated to this work.
As part of the ongoing regeneration of the South Beach, plans for the future of the Pavilion have been in development for some time, with cabinet approval already given for works to begin in August. The first phase is expected to be completed by March 2021.
The funding will be used to redesign the interior of the pavilion, providing flexible space for community and cultural activity, space for small entrepreneurial ‘pop-up’ businesses to operate from and a year-round café venue. The Council will be working with an arts and events organiser to run the new facility.
Cllr Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Economic Development said: “The East Point Pavilion is a prominent building positioned at the entrance to Lowestoft’s South Beach and is therefore one of the first things visitors see. Not only will redesigning this building give it a new lease of life and improve the visitor experience, it will provide opportunities in which local businesses can grow and offer a new cultural space.
"Like many others across the country, Lowestoft town centre is experiencing decline however we have ambitious plans to address and reverse this. It is our belief that bringing the Pavilion back into use for the benefit of local residents and visitors will act as a catalyst for further regeneration along the seafront and is the first step towards reinvigorating the town centre.”
East Suffolk Council has been working with the Lowestoft Place Board, comprising a range of public, private and voluntary sector organisations, to develop an investment plan for the town. This will highlight ambitious plans for regeneration throughout Lowestoft which address the Government’s objectives of urban regeneration, skills and enterprise infrastructure and connectivity.
In September 2019, Lowestoft was chosen as one of 101 towns in the UK to benefit from the Government's £3.6 billion Towns Fund. Through this, the Council has been able to bid for up to £25million to help drive economic regeneration.
As part of that process, each town was required by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to develop a well-evidenced ‘Town Investment Plan’, which sets out its assets, opportunities and challenges.