A revamp of Lowestoft’s iconic East Point Pavilion has secured the lion’s share of a £750,000 pot awarded to East Suffolk from the government.
East Suffolk Council was told on July 1 that it had secured the six-figure sum from the government’s Towns Fund announced last year to spend on projects in Lowestoft which can be delivered by March next year.
On Tuesday night, the authority’s cabinet agreed to allocate £720,000 towards regenerating East Point Pavilion.
The remaining £30,000 will be spent on refurbishing a small park adjacent to the old Town Hall, as well as putting up hoarding and art work as a perimeter for the proposed new car park on the former Burger King site.
Conservative council leader Steve Gallant said: “I welcome this money from central government, which is going to go a huge way to delivering not only the projects we care about but rebooting our local economy which plays a big part of that. It’s money being spent in our local economy.”
Mr Gallant added that he hoped it would provide more secure employment at a time when it was much needed.
The council must now respond to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government by August 14 to formally accept the cash and outline how it will be spent.
The first phase of the East Point Pavilion scheme already has cabinet backing, and will feature an internal redesign of the landmark venue to provide community space and options for small, pop-up style businesses to occupy.
The total phase one cost is expected to be £870,000, which will now largely be funded by the Towns Fund. The remaining £150,000 will be met from the council’s capital reserves.
Council funds already committed to the East Point Pavilion project will be reallocated to a series of urgent regeneration works in the Lowestoft Town Investment Plan, due to come forward for discussion in September.
Labour group leader at East Suffolk Council, Peter Byatt, said the cash would “help get the project moving”.
The Towns Fund was unveiled by the government last year as a means of kick-starting regeneration projects across the country, with Lowestoft and Ipswich the two Suffolk towns in the scheme.
By Local Democracy Reporter Service reporter, Jason Noble