December 7 2013 Latest news:
BY RICHARD CORNWELL
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
A SEAFRONT theatre could be closed for months to come with no deadline set for agents to sell the building or find a new operator.
Suffolk Coastal failed to bring in a new operator before the Spa Pavilion closed last weekend and now the current management company Openwide Coastal has vacated the venue.
Campaigners had been hoping that a way might have been found to keep the restaurant, which enjoys panoramic sea views, running, which might have allowed occasional use of the stage and auditorium for amateur shows and community events.
They are still hoping to form a community trust to take over the 892-seater theatre but will need to convince owners Suffolk Coastal, who have brought in expert marketing agents Jones Lang LaSalle to sell the property or find fresh operators with ideas for a new attraction, that their business plan could succeed.
A council spokesman said: “No deadline has been set for Jones Lang LaSalle but councillor Geoff Holdcroft (cabinet member for leisure and economic development) will continue to make regular reports back to cabinet and full council on progress, and as soon as there is something to be discussed a full report will be presented to cabinet.
“It is now 13 months since the council first made clear its intentions to find a new long-term future for the Spa as it could no longer afford the £250,000 annual cost of the facility or the potential £8million cost of modernising it.
“Sadly we still have not had one finalised bid that could be formally considered by councillors but we remain hopeful that from Felixstowe and from the national companies that JLL have made aware of the opportunities, we will receive proposals that do map out a viable future for the Spa.”