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Step closer for resort revamp

PUBLISHED: 20:00 14 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 March 2010

ANOTHER step forward should take place this week for the proposed £300,000 revamp of Felixstowe's "civic centre".

Councillors are being asked to approve the funding which will enable the scheme to go ahead.

ANOTHER step forward should take place this week for the proposed £300,000 revamp of Felixstowe's "civic centre".

Councillors are being asked to approve the funding which will enable the scheme to go ahead.

A big question mark has been hanging over the future of the resort's Town Hall for the past three years following the closure of the magistrates' courts, a youth drop-in centre and several council service offices.

Suffolk Coastal council has held a series of behind-closed-doors meetings with the town council – the main occupiers of the building – and others and have now decided on a scheme to make the most of the seafront property.

It wants to move the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) from the leisure centre into accommodation next to the main town hall.

The housing benefit office is also going to be moved to bigger accommodation in the Town Hall. Other areas will be let out for commercial use, raising around £12,000 a year in rent.

One of the biggest schemes in the refurbishment will be to create access to the Town Hall for people with disabilities – a ramped entrance, internal lift and other works.

Suffolk Coastal council owns the whole complex in Undercliff Road West, and its financial management and review committee will discuss the cost of the work, some of which will be expected to be met by the town council, on Thursday.

Moving the TIC to the ground floor and basement of the buildings – back to where it was located in the 1970s and early 1980s – will cost £90,000 and will be done as soon as possible.

Bigger premises for the TIC, which handles thousands of inquiries every year as well as mailing out holiday brochures for the district, and dealing with accommodation and travel bookings, have been needed for some time. But there will be no room for further expansion at the Town Hall.

The housing benefits office would be relocated into under-used office accommodation and this would also cost £90,000, while the disabled access will cost £105,000.


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