A vision to revitalise a grade II listed building and transform a town's "historic heart" has received a major £3.4m funding boost.

With 12 heritage buildings across the country having today been awarded a share of £12.2m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the largest funding grant awarded will enable a scheme to bring Lowestoft Town Hall back into public use.

As plans to revitalise the Town Hall in Lowestoft were lodged with East Suffolk Council in May and are currently "awaiting decision", this funding boost will benefit the "restoration and extension" of the historic town hall site.

Having been vacant and unoccupied since spring 2015, the landmark building has been owned by Lowestoft Town Council (LTC) since 2017.

With applications for listed building consent and full planning permission submitted to East Suffolk Council, they centre around "restoration and extension of the Grade II listed Lowestoft Town Hall, to form a heritage hub, café, gallery, community event space, town council office and registrar offices", the funding boost has been hailed.

It will see total Heritage Fund support of £3,424,382 - with £166,870 earmarked for development funding and £3,257,512 for delivery funding.

Lowestoft Journal: Mayor of Lowestoft Sonia Barker. Picture: Lowestoft Town CouncilMayor of Lowestoft Sonia Barker. Picture: Lowestoft Town Council (Image: Lowestoft Town Council)

Mayor of Lowestoft and town councillor, Sonia Barker said: "This is the news we have all been waiting and hoping for. 

"The awarding of this funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, made possible by National Lottery players, will enable us to bring this iconic building back into community use.

"On behalf of Lowestoft Town Council, I wish to thank everyone who has contributed to this project by responding to consultations, engaging with our heritage events and through bringing their expertise and passion."

The town council said work is planned to start on the building in March 2024, with the Town Hall scheduled to open in late Summer 2025.

A spokesman for The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: "The project led by Lowestoft Town Council aims, beyond addressing its physical condition, to make a significant cultural, community, and economic contribution to Lowestoft.

"It will engage local people, improve residents’ lives, and transform the town’s historic heart."