Cultural hub could transform 'key town centre site' in £35m project
- Credit: Mick Howes
Ambitious plans to transform a key town centre site with a new leisure and cultural hub have taken a step forward.
After unveiling the Lowestoft Town Centre Masterplan last June, this blueprint for the future of the town over the next decade will progress next month as a major funding decision is expected.
With Lowestoft’s Cultural Quarter forming part of the masterplan vision to "help develop and diversify" the town centre, a number of projects have been earmarked.
These include upgrades to the Marina Theatre, demolition of the Battery Green car park to build a "new, vibrant building to support performing arts" as well as commercial and leisure facilities, with the project costing a total of around £35.8 million.
Now, the council is calling all creatives as a special "virtual event" is held next week.
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An East Suffolk Council spokesman said: "Join East Suffolk Council’s virtual event to hear more about an exciting opportunity to become involved in our cultural journey in Lowestoft.
"We're holding a virtual event on March 5 where interested organisations can learn more about the project."
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With the council keen to build on the success of the First Light Festival to "create a cultural hub on a key town centre site" a call has gone out to "creatives to come forward" and work with the council on "re-shaping this site as a creative space."
Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development, said: “The site of Battery Green car park is identified in the Town Investment Plan as a potential location for new cultural and leisure activities which would benefit people living in and visiting Lowestoft.
"The plan, which sets out Lowestoft’s ambitions, opportunities and challenges over the next 10 years, was submitted to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government as part of a £24.9m application to the Government's Towns Fund in November last year.
“The virtual event on March 5 is an early piece of work to expand on our ambitions with the creative sector and to seek further ideas about future uses for the site.”
With the event including "a virtual tour of the location and building," the call to creatives adds: "Battery Green car park will be redesigned to provide a setting for leisure and cultural activity whilst complementing the existing cultural offer in the town centre provided by the Marina Theatre, Players Theatre and Library.
"The concept for this was born out of the town centre masterplan, which recommends three primary uses in this part of the town centre, clustered together to form the ‘Cultural Quarter’ to provide a place for leisure, cultural performance space, and food and drink."