The majority of Lowestoft's new £2.6 million beach huts sat empty throughout much of the summer.

The 72 Eastern Edge huts were hailed as "bold and truly unique" at their unveiling last year, although their design split opinion.

During their busiest week last year, just 13 of the 36 huts available for hire were booked out for the week, while latest figures show just 10 of the remaining 36 new huts have been sold to date.

Lowestoft Journal: The Eastern Edge beach huts officially opened last year. Image: Mick HowesThe Eastern Edge beach huts officially opened last year. Image: Mick Howes (Image: Mick Howes)

A spokesperson for East Suffolk Council said they "remain encouraged by the interest" shown in the beach huts after their launch midway through the summer season.

Some huts were made available on June 18 to support the return of First Light Festival, although the huts were officially made available to hire from the following month.

Only one booking was made during the first week, of July 16, while none were booked for the following week, figures obtained by this newspaper show.

Lowestoft Journal: Dignitaries at the official opening of Eastern Edge, 72 contemporary beach huts on Lowestoft seafront. Image: Mick HowesDignitaries at the official opening of Eastern Edge, 72 contemporary beach huts on Lowestoft seafront. Image: Mick Howes (Image: Lauren De Boise)

Numbers picked up from July 30, while August saw the busiest time with 12, 13, 12 and seven bookings in the following weeks respectively.

Just one or two weekly bookings were then made in the weeks following, although four bookings have been made each week from October 29 through to March 2023, with a fifth being added in recent weeks.

A total of 26 huts remain on the market as of last month, with the 10 already sold fetching £25,000 plut VAT.

Lowestoft Journal: The 72 Eastern Edge beach huts. Image: Mick HowesThe 72 Eastern Edge beach huts. Image: Mick Howes (Image: Newsquest)
The council spokesperson said: "Given the current economic conditions, and the launching of these exciting new facilities only midway through the last summer season, we remain encouraged by the interest that has been shown.

"The purchase of a beach hut is clearly a long-term investment, but sales have been encouraging and interest continues to be healthy, with the most recent sale completed just before Christmas.

"The construction of Eastern Edge presented an opportunity, following essential cliff stabilisation work in the area, not only to recoup investment in protecting the cliff, but to also improve the visual appeal of this important area of South Beach.

"The launch of Eastern Edge more than doubled the existing stock of beach huts for hire in Lowestoft, and we are pleased to see that bookings for general hire have since remained consistent and continue to be a popular attraction for those locally and those visiting the area.

"Throughout the main season, weekly hire was supplemented with casual hire of one, two or three days, which received a particularly positive response, while winter hire bookings have also been taken for the period between the end of October 2022 and end of March 2023. In addition, community-use benefit was seen in 2022 too.

"The Eastern Edge Huts offer something completely unique for beach hut ownership and for year-round hire, on the very eastern edge of the country, is part of our wider ambitious plans to reinvigorate Lowestoft seafront and the town centre by attracting visitors, increasing footfall and boosting the local economy.

"We are pleased to have these quality facilities available for those who choose to holiday in Lowestoft, and we are now looking forward to marketing the huts for sale and hire in advance of their first full summer season."

The huts were also used for a number of community events last year, particularly in August.

These included the Disability Forum event held early in the month, which is set to return later this year, as well as an event held by Everyone Active.

Sponsorship from Adnams also allowed the council's Communities Team to offer huts to offer those in the area the chance to benefit from wellbeing by the beach throughout August.

The Southwold-based brewery also sponsored an event by Suffolk Libraries to host a pop-up library event for 10 days in August.

Lowestoft Journal: The Jubilee Terrace beach chalets before their demolitionThe Jubilee Terrace beach chalets before their demolition (Image: Mick Howes)

The 72 beach huts were installed as a replacement for the 58 concrete Jubilee Terrace beach chalets that were closed in the summer of 2016 due to safety concerns and then demolished in July 2020.

The tips of the structures face eastwards, reflecting Lowestoft’s position as the most easterly location in the country.

The design, however, attracted national attention and divided opinion amonst locals.

Dozens of public comments were submitted to the council as part of the planning process, with views ranging from "hideous" and "too modern" to "beautiful" and "just what Lowestoft needs."

The beach huts are available for hire all year round through the booking website, or by contacting the Lowestoft beach office on 01502 586167 or emailing