Felixstowe: Spa Pavilion staff to be briefed on future proposals for venue
STAFF at Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion will be given a special briefing next week on proposals for the future of the threatened seafront venue.
A report to be presented to Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet is due to be released on Monday or Tuesday, and council officials are keen to inform the theatre management and staff of its contents before it becomes public.
Cabinet will then meet on July 24 to discuss the situation – and decide the way forward.
The Spa’s future has been under threat since councillors decided to withdraw its �240,000 a year subsidy and cancel the contract with operators Openwide.
The Ipswich Star launched a Save Our Spa campaign and councillors agreed to keep the building open until January next year to enable a number of options to be considered and give campaigners time to look at the possibility of forming a charitable trust.
Councillors then advertised the 913-seat venue, which also has a restaurant and bar with panoramic seaviews, nationally to see if a new operator would come forward to run it as a theatre or to convert it to another leisure use.
Despite interest from various companies, only one tender was received – from community group Spa Pavilion Associates.
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The group hopes councillors will see its idea of a charitable trust as a viable option.
Lisa Hardy, of SPA, said: “We have not heard anything from the council so we have no idea what is in the report.
“We are all hoping it will be good news and that our proposals can move forward.”
Julie Howes, theatre manager, said: “The theatre has obviously been in the press a lot recently with doom and gloom talks about its uncertain future but as manager of this wonderful 892-seat venue I want to let people know that we are still very much open at present and that what happens in the future happens in the future.
“We have to concentrate on what is available right now and for the Spa Pavilion that is a fantastic selection of shows programmed and running until the end of pantomime at the beginning of January”