May 20 2013 Latest news:
By Richard Cornwell
Friday, October 12, 2012
SPECIALIST agents have today been appointed to try to attract a bidder to take over Felixstowe’s under-threat seafront theatre.
Suffolk Coastal council is withdrawing its annual subsidy for the Spa Pavilion and the venue is set to close in 12 weeks’ time.
Geoff Holdcroft, cabinet member for leisure and economic development, said the previous attempt to find someone to run the theatre attracted a lot of interest but failed to secure a bid from anyone with viable plans to take it on as a leisure and entertainments venue.
“By engaging outside expertise I am optimistic that we can attract companies with fresh and realistic ideas,” he said.
“The agent we are now linking up with, Jones Lang LaSalle, has worked directly in regenerating other major resorts such as Blackpool, Bournemouth and Great Yarmouth, and we hope that record of success can be repeated in Felixstowe.
“It is a challenge in these tough financial times to find a plan for the Spa that is viable and is able to attract sufficient people and cash to grow and prosper.
“Our agent will be contacting all those who have expressed an interest in the Spa to see if they are ready to put in a proposal and open up negotiations, as well as seeking new ones.”
The council says it can no longer afford the annual £250,000 cost of the Spa, particularly as the building requires substantial investment to modernise it, and is attracting low audiences.
The council is offering the building on a freehold sale basis or a lease, but there is a clear view that any future use should not just be housing or offices.