It's swim not sink for Felixstowe

DEFIANT tourism bosses today hit back at criticism of Felixstowe and pledged it would carry on as a resort and not decline into a town by the sea.There have been warnings the town could "stagnate and die" because residents are opposed to developments such as casinos and other new attractions.

DEFIANT tourism bosses today hit back at criticism of Felixstowe and pledged it would carry on as a resort and not decline into a town by the sea.

There have been warnings the town could "stagnate and die" because residents are opposed to developments such as casinos and other new attractions.

But Doreen Savage, chairman of the resort regeneration project, said the resort was fighting for its future – and would win.

This week alone it has seen three major boosts with:


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n Details unveiled of a £950,000 refurbishment of the seafront gardens;

n A grade A rating for the Blue Flag beach, its facilities and sea water;

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n Plans submitted for a restaurant, children's play area, kiosks and market on the old Cavendish Site in Sea Road.

"We are not giving up on Felixstowe as a resort, absolutely not – in fact, it is quite the opposite and there are lots of plans and ideas to take the resort forward," said Mrs Savage.

"I think healthy debate about the future of the resort is excellent and that can often bring forward ideas and encourage people, but what I hate is negativity and people running the resort down because it makes people angry and resentful.

"Felixstowe has a lot going for it now and will have even more in the future.

"Some things take time and there are reasons for that, but the progress we have made in recent years has been very good, improving the quality of the resort and its attractions. The will is there and everyone is working hard.

"Felixstowe has a vibrant town centre with hardly an empty shop, a secure economic future thanks to the success of the port, and we are investing in the tourism side of the town and working with other partners."

Major investment will update and improve the leisure centre this year, the Spa Pavilion and Landguard Fort are flourishing, beaches and gardens have won many awards, and plans for the south seafront are well advanced.

"I know not everyone is happy about the south seafront plans and people have different ideas of what should be done. I would like to have seen a small theatre and day chalets to reflect the other end of the resort, but that was not viable and we need some houses to subsidise the leisure," said Mrs Savage.

"But turning the site over to grass is not the answer – we have tried growing grass before.

"It has the potential to be really nice down there. Work is also being planned to improve the sea defences and the state of the beaches and we would like that end of the resort to become as popular as Cobbold's Point," Mrs Savage said.

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