A ten-year investment plan, which sets out the ambitions for the future of Lowestoft, has been submitted to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The Lowestoft Place Board, which comprises representatives from public, private and voluntary organisations and is managed by East Suffolk Council, has developed a ‘Town Investment Plan’ that sets out the ambitious plans for the future of Lowestoft.
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. Each town was invited by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to develop a proposal for a Towns Deal, with up to £25 million available to bid for.
The Town Investment Plan, which sets out Lowestoft’s ambitions, opportunities and challenges, forms the basis of a £24.9m application to the Towns Fund, which will act as a catalyst for future investment.
Projects included in the Investment Plan are focused on housing, employment, skills, infrastructure, retail, leisure, culture and heritage. The Plan will also support the town’s wider long-term recovery from Covid-19.
Cllr Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Economic Development said: “Lowestoft is definitely a town worth investing in and access to this funding will make a huge difference to our ability to take the town further forward. There is already a considerable amount of investment taking place, from the Gull Wing crossing, the permanent flood defence scheme, and the growing offshore energy sector. Like towns across the country, Lowestoft has struggled in recent times and especially during the pandemic. As we enter a new round of coronavirus restrictions, we are confident we have submitted a strong plan to Government and are optimistic that Lowestoft has a bright future ahead of it.”
Stephen Javes, Chair of the Lowestoft Place Board said: “We have listened to a range of views and ideas from local businesses and the community, including more than 100 project ideas submitted via the My Towns portal. These views have enabled us to develop a strong investment plan which will help Lowestoft to thrive. We now await the response from Government before moving onto the project development phase and we will continue to work with businesses and the community throughout this process.”
The ‘locally-owned’ plan will drive real change through long-term economic growth, through investment in improvements to connectivity, land use and economic and cultural assets.
The Council and the Lowestoft Place Board are working closely with local partners and stakeholders, as well as key national organisations and funding partners such as Historic England, Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund, in order to maximise and complement the plan and unlock the town’s full potential.
The Town Investment Plan was submitted to the Ministry for Housing, Communities, and Local Government on 30 October, with the Place Board expecting a response early in the new year.