Felixstowe: Top theatre backs fight to save Spa

THE team behind one of the country’s most respected theatres believes the Spa Pavilion has the potential to be a success, it can be revealed today.

Details of the options appraisal which was carried out on the historic seaside venue last year have now been released.

It examines the options that were presented to Suffolk Coastal to keep the theatre running.

Within the report Bonnar Keenlyside, who carried out the appraisal, said that there was a current lack of support for the Spa but that the operators of Norwich’s Theatre Royal believed it could be a success.

The report stated: “The opinion of one of the most respected theatre operators in the UK, Theatre Royal Norwich, is that the Spa has the potential to be a success.”

Suzie Lowe, director of the Dennis Lowe Theatre Company, said: “I think most people if they saw it [the Spa], they would say exactly the same thing.

“It’s good news and it’s got potential. Anyone would be mad to say it doesn’t have potential.”

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The report also suggested that there was, in principle, a cost effective option to improve the positioning, profile and programming of the Spa over a 20 year time frame.

Among the options that were available for this were to work alongside the renovated Spa Gardens, renovate public areas and improve the facilities, work with other arts providers and also to consider trust status.

Taking into account potential demand and the performance of other venues in the area, the company believed to bring the Spa Pavilion up to scratch within these options would cost less than �3million.

However Suffolk Coastal has already stated that it would not be able to fund the investment, or help with the long-term financial commitment.

Miss Lowe, who is also a member of the steering group to save the Spa, added: “It would be money well-spent but I don’t think you need it all to bring it up to scratch.

“It needs adjustments but it’s not essential to do it straight away.”

The Evening Star started a campaign and petition to save the Spa Pavilion after it was announce last month that it could shut its doors for the final time in June.

The petitions are still available at the Evening Star’s Felixstowe office, in 172 Hamilton Road, or at the Spa Pavilion.

n Tell us why you want to save the Spa? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or you can send an e-mail to us at eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.