Work is due to start on ‘The Ness’, the most easterly park in the UK, on 18 November 2019.
The site of the park, next to Birds Eye on Whapload Road in Lowestoft, will be regenerated with £1m secured from the Coastal Community Fund in 2017.
The Ness, which is being delivered by Lowestoft Town Council, East Suffolk Council and Concertus Design and Property Consultants working in partnership, aims to secure the future of the net drying racks, which were once used by the fishing industry in the heyday of the herring trade, create a play and picnic area and celebrate the history of the Denes. The site also includes the seafront walkway and the most easterly point in the UK, Ness Point.
The Ness will improve access, knowledge, participation and enjoyment of North Lowestoft and its unique maritime heritage. The park will be naturally landscaped to maintain its heritage features with cycling and pedestrian access to the sea wall and the coastal path. The area is a haven for wildlife with some unique flora and fauna and is enjoyed by local people as a wild landscape, therefore the site will not be overdeveloped.
Cllr Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration said: “It is wonderful to see work beginning at The Ness, which will help to define the most easterly point and provide a new space for residents and visitors to enjoy. The Ness is just one of a range of exciting projects, including Making Waves Together, the North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone, the High Street Heritage Action Zone, the First Light Festival and more, which are further strengthening pride in Lowestoft, as well as encouraging investment and growth.”
Alice Taylor Mayor of Lowestoft said, “The Councillors and staff of Lowestoft Town Council are thrilled to see The Ness park project move from an aspiration to shovels in the ground. This Ness is a gift to everyone, but mostly it’s a gift to our children. It will benefit generations of Lowestoft residents as it gives focus to an improved tourism offer, celebrates our unique Lowestoft heritage and improves the entire town environmentally and socially."
During the construction, the area will not be accessible to the public for safety reasons. Access to the seawall will still be available via Ness Point and Ting Dene.
The contractor, Blakedown Landscapes, is a multi award-winning landscaping company with 50 years of experience. Their projects include Hunstanton Park in North Norfolk, Camden Active Spaces and the historic restoration of Brockwell Park Gardens in London.
An events programme for The Ness has been running throughout the year with a photography competition, Children’s Fun Run, Chalk Fest, art exhibitions and workshops, Beach Schools, Waves & Wheels, and much more.
The final event of 2019 is a Christmas Fair on 24 November in Sparrows Nest from 12 – 4pm which will include carol singing, brass bands, gifts and craft stalls, entertainment, food and drink and Ukulele Elves!
The recently formed Friends of The Ness group, with council support, are looking forward to delivering an opening event in Spring 2020 which is the expected completion date for the park.
The Ness sits within the boundary of the North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone, which will bring further funding to the area to uplift North Lowestoft through heritage led regeneration.
For further information visit, www.lowestofttowncouncil.gov.uk/local-information/the-ness/