Following an announcement by the Government at the end of 2019 of a £3.6billion Towns Fund, 101 UK places, including Lowestoft, sought to negotiate a ‘Towns Deal’ worth up to a possible £25 million through the development of a town investment plan. The purpose of the investment plan is to act as a catalyst for attracting further funding from both public and private sector investment.
An investment plan was developed by the Lowestoft Place Board in partnership with East Suffolk Council and submitted to government on 30 October along with an ask of £24.9m through the Towns fund. The investment plan sets out ambitious plans for future development and investment in Lowestoft over the next 10 years, it also highlights many of the challenges the towns faces whilst also detailing its strengths and current investment within the town including:
The locally-owned Town Investment Plan covers the wider Lowestoft area and will drive real change through long-term economic and productivity growth, through investment in land use, economic assets, including cultural assets, skills and enterprise infrastructure. In addition it will be a key to the recovery of the town following the COVID-19 pandemic. Key themes of the plan are:
The £24.9m bid through the Towns Fund aims to provide seed funding for the Town Investment Plan through the following projects:
East Suffolk Council will be working with partners and stakeholders to create detailed businesses cases for each of the above projects along with developing and supporting other projects detailed within the investment plan, whilst awaiting feedback from central Government which is due in the coming months.
To ensure Lowestoft has a strong and successful investment plan, East Suffolk Council are working closely with Business in the Community (BITC), who have chosen Lowestoft as the next town as part of their placemaking programme, which aims to enhance the role of business in supporting the town as a destination.
East Suffolk Council is working closely with local partners and stakeholders, as well as with key national organisations and funding partners such as Historic England, The Arts Council and National Lottery Heritage Fund to maximise and complement the Lowestoft Investment Plan, to unlock the town’s full potential.
A strong partnership that combines public, private and community organisations together, combining their resources, knowledge and expertise will enable us to deliver the best opportunities for our town.
A key part of the project is community and business engagement. During the preparation of the Town Investment Plan the Board were keen to receive as many opinions and ideas from the public as possible.
By October 2020, 145 comments and suggestions had been received via the MyTown portal for Lowestoft, alongside business and community engagement workshops. These ideas helped to inform projects for the investment plan forming part of a rigorous evaluation process.
Once finalised, the Lowestoft Town Investment Plan, will be available to view along with regular information on the progress and how our community can continue to help shape its development.
In January 2020, East Suffolk Council established a Lowestoft Place Board to oversee the development of a Town Investment Plan, to strategically move forward work on the regeneration of Lowestoft. The Lowestoft Place Board is made up of representatives from a range of public, private and voluntary sector organisations who are working together to maximise opportunities to improve and promote Lowestoft.
In order to raise the profile and promote all of the positive things happening in Lowestoft we have created a Place Board and an Ambassadors group. The Ambassadors group is made up of people who have an interest in Lowestoft and who are passionate about all that Lowestoft has to offer. This involves people who are involved in the private, public, and voluntary sector. The Ambassadors will help to “sell” Lowestoft and cascade the Lowestoft story within their networks (to employees, customers, clients, supply chains). They will challenge outdated perceptions and misinformation about the town and articulate a more vibrant and optimistic narrative.
The Ambassador group holds open events that promote the work going on within Lowestoft raising awareness of what is happening and identifying opportunities for involvement and collaboration. The events and the work of the group encourage people to engage and provide input to work that is happening within the town.
Tools such as promotional campaigns, photography, copy, a visual identity and a storybook will be available for Ambassadors and other groups to use inside and outside of Lowestoft to help tell the story.
A small group of Lead Ambassadors has been created to lead on the telling of the story and engage others in this initiative.