Historic town hall set for new lease of life
PUBLISHED: 10:42 18 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:42 18 July 2020
Transformation of a historic town hall site has moved an important step closer.
The grade II listed Town Hall in Lowestoft has been vacant and unoccupied since spring 2015.
But it could be set for a brighter future as a scheme progresses to revitalise the historic building, owned by Lowestoft Town Council (LTC), with a community focus.
In March this year options for the future development of the High Street site were explored following a Historic England-commissioned report.
Recommending a creative industries hub be establised within the historic building, wedding ceremonies and receptions, exhibitions, craft markets, live music, conferences and events were just some of the ideas proposed as part of a £3.5m makeover.
Now, LTC has been successful in obtaining a grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund to help “develop plans for the Town Hall,” which includes business planning and audience development.
Admitting it was “great news”, a town council spokesman said: “Following a previous stage where a condition survey, emergency repairs and an options report were obtained, this further work will take forward the preferred option of mixed use with a community focus.
“It will also help inform a development phase application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
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“From this we anticipate achieving a developed business case for mixed use with a community focus, including an initial breakdown of capital costs and the identification of strongly interested users – plus we are also progressing associated survey and architectural drawing support.
“It is all very exciting and has been possible owing to partnership work between Lowestoft Town Council, East Suffolk Council, Architectural Heritage Fund and Historic England.”
The town council is now inviting contractors to express interest in submitting fee tenders to help develop plans for the Town Hall, including business planning and audience development services.
The town council spokesman added: “Naturally, any bid in these challenging times will have to be clear about how this work will be adapted and undertaken given the impact of the pandemic.
“This is a significant piece of work to see whether our aspirations can be translated into a reality.
“The successful bid will be for a contract not exceeding £32,000.
“Thanks to this funding, this money is not coming out of the purse of local people but it might help bring us another step nearer to a future where the community can benefit from the Town Hall.”
Further details of the invitation to tender for potential bidders can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03300 536019.
All bids to be received by noon on August 14.
Visit www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/6abf3258-0237-46f2-97e1-84b7032abf3f for further details.
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