Historic gardens in line for �2m revamp

AN education centre, open-air performance space and informal play areas will form part of a �2 million revamp of Felixstowe's historic seafront gardens.

AN education centre, open-air performance space and informal play areas will form part of a �2 million revamp of Felixstowe's historic seafront gardens.

Details of the ambitious project were revealed as Suffolk Coastal submitted an application for funding to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The aim is to transform the seven acres of Cliff, Town Hall and Spa Gardens, which overlook the beach and amusements and link the town and seafront, returning their Edwardian splendour and safeguarding them for the future.

Council cabinet member Mary Neale said: “One of the main aims of the project is to make the seafront gardens more accessible.


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“This will involve repairing and widening paths and replacing handrails so they comply with both safety standards and the Disability Discrimination Act.

“The gardens are built into the cliffs and are naturally steep, but it is hoped the improvements will mean more people are able to enjoy them.

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“The seafront gardens are a reminder of Felixstowe's past, but currently visitors have no way of knowing how they have changed over time.

“Putting up a series of signs and information boards and building an education centre would help local people and tourists alike appreciate the wildlife, geology and history of the gardens.

“Many parts of the gardens are overgrown, so another goal of the project would be to tidy up the greenery, reorganise beds and plant new flowers and shrubs.

“As well as improving the appearance of the gardens, it will give gardeners the opportunity to enhance the area's biodiversity by planting species native to the environment, and to support populations of invertebrates and reptiles.”

Other proposals include an open air performance space next to the Spa Pavilion, paths linking the gardens to the national cycle route, and informal play areas for children.

The design was drawn up by the Landscape Partnership, working with the town and district councils and Friends of the Seafront Gardens community group.

The gardens are grade two listed on the National Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

What would you like to see in the refurbished gardens? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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