Cultural hub could transform 'key town centre site' in £35m project

The Battery Green car park in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

The Battery Green car park in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Ambitious plans to transform a key town centre site with a new leisure and cultural hub have taken a step forward.

After unveiling the Lowestoft Town Centre Masterplan last June, this blueprint for the future of the town over the next decade will progress next month as a major funding decision is expected.

A CGI image produced for the Lowestoft Masterplan for what the ‘Cultural Quarter’ area could look like

A CGI image produced for the Lowestoft Masterplan for what the ‘Cultural Quarter’ area could look like. - Credit: East Suffolk Council

With Lowestoft’s Cultural Quarter forming part of the masterplan vision to "help develop and diversify" the town centre, a number of projects have been earmarked.

These include upgrades to the Marina Theatre, demolition of the Battery Green car park to build a "new, vibrant building to support performing arts" as well as commercial and leisure facilities, with the project costing a total of around £35.8 million.

The Wilko store and Battery Green car park in Lowestoft.

The Battery Green car park in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Now, the council is calling all creatives as a special "virtual event" is held next week.


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An East Suffolk Council spokesman said: "Join East Suffolk Council’s virtual event to hear more about an exciting opportunity to become involved in our cultural journey in Lowestoft.

The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft.

The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

"We're holding a virtual event on March 5 where interested organisations can learn more about the project."

The Players Theatre

The Players Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

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With the council keen to build on the success of the First Light Festival to "create a cultural hub on a key town centre site" a call has gone out to "creatives to come forward" and work with the council on "re-shaping this site as a creative space."

Craig Rivett, East Suffolk Council deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development. Pictur

Craig Rivett, East Suffolk Council deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development. Picture: East Suffolk Council - Credit: East Suffolk Council

Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development, said: “The site of Battery Green car park is identified in the Town Investment Plan as a potential location for new cultural and leisure activities which would benefit people living in and visiting Lowestoft.

Battery Green Road in Lowestoft.

Battery Green Road in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

"The plan, which sets out Lowestoft’s ambitions, opportunities and challenges over the next 10 years, was submitted to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government as part of a £24.9m application to the Government's Towns Fund in November last year.

“The virtual event on March 5 is an early piece of work to expand on our ambitions with the creative sector and to seek further ideas about future uses for the site.”

Battery Green car park in Lowestoft.

Battery Green car park in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

With the event including "a virtual tour of the location and building," the call to creatives adds: "Battery Green car park will be redesigned to provide a setting for leisure and cultural activity whilst complementing the existing cultural offer in the town centre provided by the Marina Theatre, Players Theatre and Library.

The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft.

The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

"The concept for this was born out of the town centre masterplan, which recommends three primary uses in this part of the town centre, clustered together to form the ‘Cultural Quarter’ to provide a place for leisure, cultural performance space, and food and drink."

The Lowestoft Players Theatre.

The Lowestoft Players Theatre. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes


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