Hundreds share views on how historic town hall could be restored
- Credit: Mick Howes
A café, museum and heritage hub have all been mooted as potential uses for the transformation of a historic town hall site.
Almost 1,000 people in Lowestoft have shared their thoughts on how a restored Town Hall could be used by the community.
With the grade II listed Town Hall in Lowestoft having been vacant and unoccupied since spring 2015, a scheme is progressing to revitalise the historic building - owned by Lowestoft Town Council (LTC) - with a community focus.
Earlier this year the town council launched an online survey as they sought views on what the public would like to see in a "restored town hall in Lowestoft".
And now after 999 responses were received from the survey, a town council spokesman said: "Earlier this year, a Town Hall survey was conducted with the aim to gather the views of local people and beyond on the Town Hall’s future use, and to gauge their interest and participation in heritage.
"The consultation was part of a project commissioned by Lowestoft Town Council, working in partnership with East Suffolk Council and Historic England, and funded by a grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund."
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With Moss King Associates Limited now due to use "the output from the survey to develop the business plan" for the Town Hall, the town council spokesman added: "The completion of the survey demonstrates the level of interest and engagement in the project.
"From the data gathered, there are some clear messages about the future uses of the Town Hall that residents in particular would like to see.
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"However, there are also important differences across the population, from young to old, those who are disabled or not, those living in relatively low income, and so on that will need to be incorporated as the Town Hall and its facilities are developed, so that maximum benefit can be delivered across the community."
The key findings from the survey showed that there was overall support - 64pc in favour - of the town council moving into the Town Hall.
It stated: "We recommend that the council should progress a move into the building, and that a communications programme is developed to explain the rationale behind this move."
The top uses for the Town Hall was a café, with almost half of those surveyed saying they "would use it frequently" with "a similar level of support for a museum/heritage hub," according to the responses.