Cash boost for Felixstowe regeneration

MULTI-million pound moves to regenerate Felixstowe's town centre and seafront have today been given a £300,000 boost.The money is the first commitment to the project and will be used as “seed corn” to attract even more investment from other funding organisations and Europe.

MULTI-million pound moves to regenerate Felixstowe's town centre and seafront have today been given a £300,000 boost.

The money is the first commitment to the project and will be used as “seed corn” to attract even more investment from other funding organisations and Europe.

Consultants are drawing up plans for projects to give the resort a facelift and a number of potential ideas have been put forward though no definite decisions have yet been made.

The seed corn cash is part of a £385,000 windfall received by Suffolk Coastal in government grant from the national pot of business rates to promote enterprise, employment and growth in businesses.

“We are going to use over £300,000 of this additional government funding to help kick-start the Felixstowe Futures regeneration programme for the resort's town centre and seafront,” said Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Colin Hart.

“The Felixstowe Futures group has been busy drawing up and consulting on proposals that would help breath new life into the seafront and town centre.

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“This ambitious but important regeneration programme can only occur if all the relevant private and public sector partners get involved.

“One of the most important immediate tasks will be to attract major funding from bodies like the Haven Gateway Partnership, the East of England Development Agency and the European Union.

“None of this is going to happen overnight but the foundations need to be put in place now. This investment by Suffolk Coastal is a clear statement of our commitment to the regeneration of Felixstowe.”

In the new year a Felixstowe regeneration officer will be employed.

This year Suffolk Coastal's economic regeneration team has worked hard to attract new jobs and investment, supporting schemes at Rendlesham and Felixstowe, offering specialist advice and grants to rural businesses, working with the Business Forum to compile a detailed data base of companies in the district, and supporting the work of the Felixstowe and Trimleys Peninsula Futures Group.

The remainder of the Local Authority Business Growth Incentive funds will be used to help safeguard the district's coastal assets by funding a new post to help support the new integrated coastal zone management project for the next three years.

FASTFACTS: Future of Felixstowe - some of the 25-plus schemes being examined

Create a New Triangle by getting rid of the loos and shelter and creating a café, water feature, open-air performance area with retractable roof and seating.

Convert beach shelters to cafes, and provide new modern beach huts with solar heating and wind power for electricity.

Revitalise seafront gardens to create a modern string of gardens with a Coastal Landscape theme showcasing the varied coastal plants from around the UK, and create winter gardens

A new landmark viewing tower at the end of Hamilton Road with panoramic views over seafront, and lift/stairs to the beach.

Regenerate the pier as a watersports centre, with café, shops, bandstand, seating.

Redevelop the Convalescent Hill car park with a clifftop restaurant, high quality hotel and homes.

Turn the Spa Pavilion into a community arts centre by cutting its seating to around 500, putting in workshop space and drama studios, and creating a beachside café underneath.

Provide a new beach station plus homes alongside, and use the old bus station site for homes.

Allow cycling, skaters and roller bladers to use the prom but have a pedestrian-priority route for walkers.

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