Work on ambitious plans to transform Lowestoft from the sea to the High Street are under way after a major multi-million pound funding boost.

Lowestoft was selected as one of 100 towns to benefit from a share of the government's £2.6 billion Towns Fund in 2019.

The following year, a Town Investment Plan set out Lowestoft's ambitions, opportunities and challenges over the next 10 years, which was submitted to the government as part of the application and focused on five regeneration projects.

Lowestoft's bid for £24.9 million was provisionally secured in March 2021, subject to the completion of a detailed business case for each of the five projects it would include.

These were completed in March 2022, and earlier this month, the government gave the final approval for the plans, which focus on five regeneration projects.

All five have now advanced to the design phase and, in the coming months, residents, businesses and visitors will be able to view proposed designs and learn more about each project.

Station Quarter

This began on Thursday, August 25, with a consultation over plans to redevelop a disused part of Lowestoft's railway station.

That proposal forms part of the Station Quarter project, which will see the front of the station building fully restored and brought back into working use.

It has been vacant for more than 50 years.

The Station Quarter project also includes work on the former Post Office on London Road North, which sat empty since the closure in 2018.

A scheme of work to repair its historic character has been under way since January.

As well as the funding from the Towns Fund, the repairs are being delivered through the London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme, and also funded by Historic England and East Suffolk Council.

The works include air lime repointing, consolidation and mortar repairs to save as much of the original stone as possible.

Cultural Quarter

Improvements to the Marina Theatre will feature in work in the Cultural Quarter, as well as the redevelopment of the council's current Customer Services Centre to provide a new cultural facility with associated eatery.

Perhaps the most eye-catching development however, will be the redevelopment of the Battery Green car park.

Demolition of the multi-storey site began in 2018, with a temporary car park opening shortly afterwards while options for the site were assessed.

Now, plans are in progress to create a "new, vibrant building to support the performing arts" in its place, as well as commercial and leisure facilities.

Historic Quarter

Lowestoft's Town Hall has been vacant since 2015, but will be refurbished under plans for the Historic Quarter.

Promising a "conservation-led" approach, the project will continue restoration work around the historic High Street area of the town.

Lowestoft's iconic Scores will also benefit from the scheme with enhancement work planned under the proposal.

Lowestoft Journal: Inside East Point Pavilion.Inside East Point Pavilion. (Image: Mick Howes)

Seafront Vision

Lowestoft's East Point Pavilion was among the first projects to benefit from the Towns Fund cash when, in September 2020, the government handed out £80 million to kick-start schemes nationwide.

The bid to redevelop the seafront site was boosted by the early grant of £750,000.

All but £30,000 of that was ring-fenced for the pavilion, which is now operated by First Light Festival CIC, with the remaining sum for refurbishing a small park next to the old Town Hall.

Other work in the Seafront Vision will include the redevelopment of Royal Plain, including the fountains and Royal Green, to complement the pavilion.

Port Gateway

The final project will support the development of the Lowestoft Eastern Energy Facility (LEEF) to secure the town's future as an Operations and Maintenance hub for the offshore renewables sector.

Once complete, LEEF - which aims to provide state-of-the-art infrastructure to meet current and future industry demand - will enable the Port of Lowestoft’s Outer Harbour to accommodate the next generation of offshore support vessels.

Last month, the planned facility scooped the 'best project' title at the regional Royal Town Planning Institute awards for Planning Excellence 2022.