May 21 2013 Latest news:
BY RICHARD CORNWELL, Felixstowe editor
Monday, February 25, 2013
EXPERTS are today assessing two formal bids by organisations wanting to take over Felixstowe’s boarded-up seafront theatre.
No details are known yet about the offers for the Spa Pavilion – but councillors have told prospective purchasers that they are willing to listen to proposals for a wide range of ideas, including a mixed use that could include a theatre.
They would also be prepared for developers to demolish the building and replace it with a new theatre or different attraction.
While two bids have been submitted, council officials say there could be two more offers to come, and possibly others, and the 892-seater venue will remain on the market for the time being.
A Suffolk Coastal council spokesman said: “Two proposals have been received and are being assessed by our expert agents and ourselves as to whether they meet our basic criteria of long-term viability that would mean they could be referred to cabinet.”
Councillors are due to discuss the future of the building again in April.
One of the items on the agenda will be the restaurant and the possibility of re-opening it for the summer season.
Previous operator Openwide Coastal had offered to run the restaurant on an ad hoc basis, and the council has not ruled out speaking to the company again regarding the catering facility.
The Spa closed at the end of the Dennis Lowe Theatre Company’s panto run in early January and has since been boarded up.
A caretaker has been employed part-time to keep an eye on the property and deal with maintenance issues until its future is decided.
Specialist marketing agents Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels are marketing the theatre. The company has already held an open day, which attracted reasonable interest in the building.