New shops, boutiques and cafes planned for Manning’s Amusements in Felixstowe
- Credit: Mannings Amusements
Traditional seaside attractions are set to make way for a range of new shops, boutiques and cafes housed in converted shipping containers at one of Suffolk’s best known resorts.
The revamp is part of a major leisure redevelopment at Mannings Amusemnents site in Felixstowe but it will mean the end-of-the-line sor some of the traditional holiday attractions.
The seafront site has been a destination for holidaymakers since the 1940s, but now the fairground style rides will make way for Beach Street, incorporating independent retailers, boutiques, start-ups, street food and other leisure uses.
Charles and Johnny Manning, the third generation of the family to run the amusement centre, said the main building would remain and the rest of the site developed over the next two years.
Charles Manning said: "There has been a lot of positive news and development in Felixstowe recently but not a lot at the south end.
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"We have already invested more than £100,000 in the machines, the main arcade and redecoration.
"This development will be another six figure sum, hundreds of thousands, plus what the individual tenants spend on fitting out their businesses.
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"There is a lot of excitement already. We have had more than 70 expressions of interest from individual businesses and entrepreneurs who want to get involved.
"We haven't applied for planning permission as yet, though we have been in touch with the council.
"The idea is to get the first phase ready for the summer of 2020 and phase two a year later.
"We will be working with other people who want to grow or start businesses, and the development will create employment and attract more visitors to this part of Felixstowe seafront."
Mr Manning said they would be looking for a good mix of busineses to be based there.
"There will probably be about 20 containers of various sizes in total. Perhaps 10/12 businesses in phase one and more in phase two in summer 2021.
"It is an opportunity for start-ups and entrepreneurs to expand their businesses."
The plan was for Beach Street to be open all year round, he said, not just in the summer.
Sadly the rides would have to make way, he said, after this summer.
"Times have changed. Unfortunately they are not as popular as they were. People are doing different things.
"This development is a way of taking the business forward."
Existing fairground rides would have to go at the end of this season, he said, though the dodgems might remain until phase two got underway.
The Mannings family have been at the forefront of leisure in Felixstowe for 70 years.
Charles' grandfather, also Charles, ran the Felixstowe leisure business from 1946 and his son, also Charles, was in charge until his death eight years ago.
Charles Manning and his brother Johnny took the business forward follwoing their father's death.