BY RICHARD CORNWELL, Felixstowe editor
Friday, January 18, 2013
FRESH hope emerged today for Felixstowe’s closed down and boarded-up seaside theatre – after it was revealed that four organisations are in the running to take over the seafront venue.
It is understood three companies and a community group are the potential bidders, while a fifth organisation – a consortium of businessmen – waiting in the wings, and others may yet come forward.
Very little is known about the potential projects at this stage, although at least two of the interested parties are understood to be keen to continue with a theatre as part of a mixed use of the building, although it is believed this may be for amateur productions rather than professional shows.
With work taking place to board up the venue to protect it from vandals, council officials are keen to make progress on sorting out its future, either as a theatre or a new attraction – one interested party said Easter had been mentioned as a target date.
The 892-seater building remains up for sale with specialist marketing agents Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.
Geoff Holdcroft, cabinet member for economic development and leisure, said: “There is no formal date for submissions of interest in the Spa but we have asked interested parties to let us know by the end of this week what the broad shape of their proposals are so we might assess if we want to enter into more substantive discussions with those parties.
“However since the open day two other parties have also expressed an interest in the Spa and we would like to hear their proposals, too, but we are not expecting them to be able to give us as detailed and expressions of interest as the first two parties by the end of this week.
“Suffolk Coastal has sought and will continue to seek the most sustainable future for the Spa and one which will enhance the cultural and tourist benefit to Felixstowe.”
Mr Holdcroft said once firm proposals have been received they will be looked at by cabinet.
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