'Ambitious ' Lowestoft heritage regeneration plan hailed by national body

Historic England Commissioners Banksy artwork Lowestoft

Historic England Commissioners next to the Banksy artwork in Lowestoft with Stephen Baker, East Suffolk Council chief executive, and Steve Gallant, East Suffolk Council leader, on the far right. - Credit: Kate Ellis/East Suffolk Council

A plan to revamp Lowestoft's heritage has been praised during a special visit.

Historic England Commissioners were in the town on Thursday (October 14) to see how important heritage sites are being restored and rejuvenated.

Members of the Historic England Commission - the organisation’s governing board - were joined by chief executive Duncan Wilson for talks and a tour of the town.

Historic England Commissioners London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone

Historic England Commissioners exploring the London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone. - Credit: Kate Ellis/East Suffolk Council

At the Grade II listed Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club, Commissioners heard from partners about a shared vision for Lowestoft’s future.

Aly Tipping and Rebecca Styles presenting to Historic England Commissioners

Aly Tipping (North HAZ Project Officer), Rebecca Styles (London Road HSHAZ Project Officer) presenting to Historic England Commissioners. - Credit: Kate Ellis/East Suffolk Council

In partnership with Historic England, East Suffolk Council, Lowestoft Town Council, East Suffolk Building Preservation Trust and Lowestoft Vision are working together to revitalise the town through the North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone and the London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone.

Post Office Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone

Historic England Commissioners visiting the Grade II listed Post Office which will be restored as part of the London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone. - Credit: Kate Ellis/East Suffolk Council

Commissioners heard about the continued renovation of Lowestoft’s historic railway station, revitalisation of the seafront and saw the Grade II listed former Post Office, which is planned for restoration.

Helen Johnson chats to Historic England Commissioners

Helen Johnson, Culture and Heritage Programme Manager, East Suffolk Council, chats to Historic England Commissioners outside the Grade II listed Post Office, part of the London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone. - Credit: Kate Ellis/East Suffolk Council

They also heard about Lowestoft’s thriving cultural activities, plans to restore the Grade II listed Town Hall and explored the historic Scores.

Historic England Commissioners Crown Score Lowestoft

Historic England Commissioners visiting Crown Score in the North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone. - Credit: Kate Ellis/Historic England

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Earlier this year, Historic England awarded £90,000 to the London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone to create and deliver community-led cultural activities over the next three years.

'Wish you were here!' will deliver a cultural programme that covers both Heritage Action Zones in Lowestoft.

Historic England Commissioners newly restored former Chemist Shop Lowestoft High Street

Historic England Commissioners visited the newly restored former Chemist Shop on the High Street, part of the North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone. - Credit: Kate Ellis/East Suffolk Council

Communities will uncover stories such as Lowestoft’s long tradition as a seaside resort, the 1953 and 2013 floods, the 175th anniversary of the train station and the Post Office development.

Historic England Commissioners London Road North Lowestoft

Historic England Commissioners visit London Road North, part of the London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone. - Credit: Kate Ellis/East Suffolk Council

Sir Laurie Magnus, chairman of Historic England, said: “It has been hugely rewarding to see the collective vision for Lowestoft’s heritage regeneration and the number of landmark historic properties that are to be restored and reused."

Steve Gallant, East Suffolk Council leader, said: “Culture and heritage are crucial parts of our ambitious plans for regeneration in Lowestoft, and we are pleased to be able to share the hard work taking place within both of Lowestoft’s Heritage Action Zones."

Alice Taylor, of Lowestoft Town Council, added: "While Historic England’s brief is about preserving our heritage, they also know that historic preservation is not just about the past, but how preserving our past can help places like Lowestoft move to a brighter future."

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