Restrictions on seafront street stalls could be lifted to boost pavilion revamp

Directors and some of the First Light Festival CIC team East Point Pavilion Lowestoft

Directors and some of the First Light Festival CIC team inside the East Point Pavilion in Lowestoft as work continues. - Credit: Mick Howes

Plans to relax prohibitive street trading rules around Lowestoft seafront have been unveiled that aim to boost the offering both year-round and at special events.

As part of the revamp of East Point Pavilion, East Suffolk Council’s licensing committee has agreed to launch a public consultation to remove the street trading policy on the seafront between East Point Pavilion and Claremont Pier, Royal Terrace, Royal Plain, Parade Road North, and parts of Marine Parade and Royal Green Car Park.

Current rules mean only three street trading licences can be issued in those areas, with traders having to pay both yearly and daily fees to do so.

But with plans for the revamped East Point Pavilion to host events – possibly as many as 46 through the year – street trading rules need to be relaxed to boost the number of traders that can operate in the area, particularly at pop-up events.

It aims to offer more for visitors and in turn boost visitor numbers at key event times and through the year more broadly.

councillor mary rudd

Councillor Mary Rudd, East Suffolk Council cabinet member for community health. - Credit: Archant

Conservative cabinet member for community health, Mary Rudd, said: “Unless the policy is varied the proposed events at the Pavilion would be severely limited as the number of outside stalls would be restricted to three, and each one would have to obtain a licence at a cost per day and a daily fee to actually trade.”

Keith Robinson has been elected as the new East Suffolk Council chairman. Picture: East Suffolk Coun

Keith Robinson, East Suffolk Council chairman. - Credit: East Suffolk Council

Oulton Broad ward member Keith Robinson added: “This would be really good for the town – especially if it spreads over not just special events but more items on Lowestoft seafront to attract people.”

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The council said prospective traders would still need landowner permission from the authority so that it could maintain the quality of stalls there.

The derelict East Point Pavilion is undergoing a six-figure revamp thanks to Towns Fund cash, set to include a cafe/bar area and a handful of permanent food stalls.

But it will also become a key venue for hosting events and pop-up stands through the year.

The East Point Pavilion in Lowestoft, as work continues.

The East Point Pavilion in Lowestoft, as work continues. - Credit: Mick Howes

Lizzie Hall from First Light Festival, which is set to run the Pavilion, said having extra traders would help drive footfall, and the team has already set their sights on a number of events.

She said: “We have identified lots of ways we can do that. It might be a vintage fair or produce events.

“We have also talked about having a children’s literature festival and other ideas.

“The important thing for us is to have the flexibility to make these events, and make the building, work. With the current restrictions it limits that massively.

“Having additional street traders is a wonderful attraction for people but it also is something that helps make these events financially viable.”

A date for the consultation has not yet been finalised but is likely to be in the spring. If no major snags emerge in the consultation the policy can then be changed.