Southwold Town Council, in partnership with the Southwold Coastal Community Team, has been awarded £15,000 from the Coastal Revival Fund to develop a vision for the restoration and regeneration of Southwold Boating Lake.
The boating lake, which dates back to 1900 and is owned by Southwold Town Council, has provided a recreational destination for boating and model yachting for generations. The model yacht lake, connecting lagoon and wildlife area are rich in biodiversity and present a unique opportunity for creating a sustainable tourism offer. Southwold’s Coastal Community Team highlighted the importance of the boating lake as a heritage, tourism and wildlife area in their Economic Plan, which was published in June 2017.
Cllr Michael Ladd, Waveney District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism and Chair of the Coastal Community Team said:
“This funding is great news for the Coastal Community Team and will allow the project to take a step forward, with the identification of future development and investment options for the whole of the boating lake site. We are particularly keen to focus on green tourism and something which can be enjoyed by visitors and the local community throughout the year.”
The vision will incorporate the whole of the 20 acre site, including the tearooms to the front, the model yacht pond and the large lagoon area at the rear of the site which encompasses an area of rich natural habitat.
The funding will enable the team to commission a feasibility study and an appraisal of the various options. The study will also consider how signage could be improved directing people to the lake and how the site could be linked to other destinations within Southwold.
The CCT, formed in 2017, is led by a steering group comprising representatives of Southwold Town Council, Reydon Parish Council, Southwold and Reydon Society, Waveney District Council and other key business and community representatives. The project to regenerate the boating lake will be managed by the Town and District Councils.
The Town Council has also passed stage one of the Coastal Communities Fund process and has been invited to apply for £950,000. This will be used to support their ‘Southwold Enterprise Hub’ project to create new business premises and the establishment of a Southwold Development Team to work with, and support, the local business community and develop new initiatives to support and extend the traditional visitor season. A decision on this is expected next month.
Both the Coastal Revival Fund and the Coastal Communities Fund are intended to help improve the economic sustainability of coastal assets and coastal communities more broadly.
For more about the Southwold CCT, please visit www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/southwold-coastal-community-team