See the progress on new £1.5m clam-shaped cafe on seafront
PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 November 2020 | UPDATED: 11:29 12 November 2020
Rapid progress is being made on a new £1.5million beachside cafe/restaurant which is part of a regeneration project at one of Sufolk’s best-loved resorts.
The dining venue at Felixstowe’s South Seafront Martello Park will be run by the Dedham Boathouse Group and is set to open next summer.
Work began in August and is continuing apace during the lockdown under Covid-safety rules – and this week the steel-frame superstructure has been put in place, showing how the building will look.
Nick Loomes, director of Plaice, the architects for the scheme, said: “The council’s vision was to create a vibrant new cafe facility which would act as a positive beacon to support and aid regeneration of this fantastic and unique location.
“We wanted to capture the ‘spirit’ of the place, so, the final concept takes its roof shape from a clam shell, its undulations creating a canopy, linked to the ground by a ribbon of glass.
“The building’s plan form arcs around the site, opening up and framing panoramic views of the bay, from the pier to the mouth of the Orwell estuary, and importantly the Napoleonic Martello Tower.”
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The ambitious landmark building – which will offer indoor and outdoor dining – is being created by East Suffolk Council, Barnes Construction, Dedham Boathouse Group, Plaice Design and Superstructures.
Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s deputy leader, said: “Despite the continuing challenges we are all facing due to coronavirus, we are grateful that the Government are permitting construction to continue. We have a huge growth programme across the district with numerous big projects we’re committed to moving forward, one of which is the café.
“This project is hugely important to Felixstowe and the local economy as not only will it provide a new eatery next to the beautiful seafront, attracting both local people and visitors, it will also support economic growth and provide new employment opportunities as we hopefully begin to emerge from the impact of Covid-19.
“The South Seafront has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years and East Suffolk Council has invested a lot in revitalising the area. We believe it is vital that we continue to build on this investment and create developments that benefits local businesses and people as well as visitors to the area.”
Chris Bruce, pre-contracts director at Barnes Construction, said: “‘With the substructures now complete, we have reached a significant milestone in our construction programme and we look forward to seeing the building really taking shape over the next few weeks with the erection of the steel frame and formation of the roof structure.”
The development is part of the South Seafront ongoing regeneration which includes Martello Park, new homes, play areas, new car parking, refurbishment of two public shelters, and long-term maintenance of the Martello Tower centrepiece of the park.
The £1.5m cafe is funded by East Suffolk Council and the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF), which awarded the council £950,000 grant funding, plus £30,000 from the Coastal Revival Fund.
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