Campus plan to restart

PUBLISHED: 11:43 24 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:20 05 July 2010

Artist's impression of Waveney Campus

Artist's impression of Waveney Campus

Work on the £52.7m Waveney Campus project for Lowestoft is to be restarted despite looming uncertainty over the future of local government in the region.

Work on the £52.7m Waveney Campus project for Lowestoft is to be restarted despite looming uncertainty over the future of local government in the region.

Spending on the flagship building, which will house 1,000 council and science workers by autumn 2010, was suspended at the end of July when the Boundary Committee put forward its proposal for Lowestoft to be governed by a unitary Norfolk authority.

But last night, it was confirmed that building and planning work would start again immediately now that all the project partners had vowed to back the development, regardless of the outcome of the local government review.

The Waveney Campus is scheduled to be built by the banks of Lake Lothing to house staff from Waveney district and Suffolk county councils as well as being the new base for the Cefas science laboratory, but the Boundary Committee's suggestions earlier this summer to take Lowestoft out of Suffolk raised serious questions about the viability of the project.

Cefas needs to quit its rundown base at Pakefield and has previously stated that it would be forced to move out of Lowestoft, taking hundreds of jobs with it, if the campus was not built.

Norfolk and Suffolk county councils, Waveney District Council, Yarmouth Borough Council, the East of England Development Agency and the 1st East Urban Regeneration Company all said yesterday that they were fully committed to the project, which is a key part of wider plans to regenerate Lowestoft's waterfront areas.

Wendy Mawer, Waveney's portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “The local government review has created uncertainty and it was vitally important that all current and prospective partners took time out to consider their options.

“I am absolutely delighted, therefore, that all are unanimous in their commitment to the project and share the view that there remains a clear need for this facility in Lowestoft.”

A spokesman for the campus partners said the new building had been designed to offer much-needed modern accommodation for council staff in the town.

He added: “In the future, the same or similar local government services will continue to be required, whatever authority or authorities are administering the area.

“None of the aforementioned authorities that could yet assume responsibility for Lowestoft has suitable alternative premises in the vicinity, so the need for the Waveney Campus will remain post reorganisation.”

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