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Felixstowe: Community may bid for unwanted Suffolk Coastal offices at resort

PUBLISHED: 15:01 13 May 2014

Felixstowe Tourist Information Centre - Suffolk Coastal wants to sell off part of the building.

Felixstowe Tourist Information Centre - Suffolk Coastal wants to sell off part of the building.

Archant

Community leaders are to consider whether to buy a district council’s offices to create a wedding reception venue or some other seafront use.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is preparing to sell its premises in Undercliff Road West, alongside Felixstowe Town Hall, because it needs less space at the resort.

Felixstowe Town Council has successfully had the building listed as a “community asset” – which will give the council six months to come up with a business plan to purchase the property, likely to be put on the market for £350,000 to £400,000.

It would need to take out a Public Works Loan Board loan in order to fund the purchase.

Potential uses for the building include a seafront leisure amenity, art gallery and public space, conversion to residential accommodation for holiday lets, the rented market or resale, or as a community function suite to compliment the use of Felixstowe Town Hall as a wedding venue.

In a report, acting town clerk Gordon Mussett said it could be the last opportunity for the town council to purchase the buildings, “an opportunity to ‘commercialise’ some of the current town hall hirings, and that there may be additional unexpressed community needs”.

He said: “It may be the only real opportunity the town council has to control the use of those premises.

“Listing as such merely opens up a six-month window of opportunity to – without commitment – develop a business plan and make an acquisition bid for the property.”

He said the preparation of a business plan was achievable within six months.

The council will discuss it further on May 21.

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