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Views sought on council’s plans for £200,000 loan to secure theatre’s future

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:45 13 April 2018

The Marina Theatre and neighbouring box office building. Picture: Nick Butcher.

The Marina Theatre and neighbouring box office building. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Archant © 2018

Plans to secure the future of a vital cultural and community asset have put been forward by town councillors.

Marina Theatre box office, Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher.Marina Theatre box office, Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher.

A consultation over Lowestoft Town Council’s plans to buy the Marina Theatre’s neighbouring ‘Zenith’ building which houses the theatre’s café, box office and meeting rooms, has been launched this week as the council looks to take out a loan of £200,000 for the purchase.

The Marina was one of the assets transferred into the ownership of the town council by Waveney District Council following its formation last year. However the café and box office area are owned by a third party, despite being fundamentally important to the operation of the theatre.

The proposal would see the council using its reserves and taking out the loan to buy the building, allowing it to own and then lease the two facilities to the Marina Theatre Trust, ensuring continuity and security for the future.

The Marina Theatre and neighbouring box office building. Picture: Nick Butcher.The Marina Theatre and neighbouring box office building. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Lee Henderson, Marina Theatre CEO said: “The security of the ‘Zenith’ building is fundamental to our financial resilience and future business planning to ensure the Marina remains a vital cultural and community asset for Lowestoft. We are delighted Lowestoft Town Council are assisting us in progressing with the purchase and we would encourage people to share their views.”

The council’s loan payments would be met through a 20-year lease arrangement with the Trust ensuring no additional cost to the tax payer.

A town council spokesman said: “Waveney District Council was in the process of buying the ‘Zenith’ building but as they have now transferred the Marina Theatre building to Lowestoft Town Council, it makes more sense for us to take over this process. We have a vested interest in securing the future viability of the Marina building and the trust that manages the theatre services.”

Residents are being asked for views ahead of a special meeting of the town council on April 20, at 7.30pm at Waveney District Council offices in Canning Road, Lowestoft. Views must be received by 4pm on April 20, and can be emailed to info@lowestofttowncouncil.uk, online at www.lowestofttowncouncil.gov.uk, call 0330 536019 or write to Lowestoft Town Council, Hamilton House, Battery Green Road, Lowestoft, NR32 1DE.

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