Felixstowe: Regeneration of resort is at a “critical stage”, says Suffolk Coastal

MOMENTUM must not be lost if Felixstowe’s regeneration as a visitor destination and a better place to live is to succeed, a community leader warned today.

Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Geoff Holdcroft said regeneration was now at a “critical stage” with significant projects – including the new pier, revamp of Pier Bight and the derelict boating lake, creation of a maritime park, and renovation of the seafront gardens – set to come to fruition.

Work was also taking place to secure a new operator for the Spa pavilion, either to continue the venue as a theatre or a new attraction.

More than �200,000 has today been found to keep the Felixstowe Futures team in place, thanks to a package being put together involving town, parish, district and county councils and Felixstowe Chamber of Trade.

If the team was to fold, putting in place an alternative project could take years and lose vital cash and damage the drive for projects now coming together.

The team has helped attract more than �16 million so far for regeneration of the seafront and town centre in the past three years.

Its work has included key roles in the town centre shared space project, and securing the �3m, including �2.2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, for the gardens restoration, the �240,000 for the revamp of The Triangle, �10m for sea defences, and nearly �450,000 for Landguard.

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Mr Holdcroft, cabinet member for leisure and economic development, said if Felixstowe Futures (FF) did not continue, “a great opportunity and momentum will be lost”.

He said: “The current financial climate is very difficult at present and FF are trying to counteract this by helping to attract private sector investment for projects which will help the long-term prosperity of the town.

“This will help to maximise the opportunities and benefits from increased tourism, new businesses and increased jobs, all of which are top priorities for FF and its partner organisations.

“By extending the life span of the team by a further two years, Suffolk Coastal will ensure that every effort is made to make Felixstowe an even better attraction for visitors.”