Artist's impression gives glimpse of how £14.7m Cultural Quarter could look
- Credit: LDA Design and Neubau Architecture Ltd
A first glimpse of how a new £14.7m cultural hub for Lowestoft could look has been revealed.
With Lowestoft awarded £24.9m from the government's £3.6bn Towns Fund last year for five key projects in the heart of the town, a new online tendering tool is giving developers a chance to put forward their bids.
One of the key projects - a new Cultural Quarter - has £14.7m earmarked to be spent, and now a vision of how it could look has been unveiled with a new artist's impression.
The project would involve upgrades to the Marina Theatre, demolition of the Battery Green car park to build a "new, vibrant building to support the performing arts" in its place, as well as commercial and leisure facilities.
It comes as a new online tool has been launched to allow suppliers exclusive access to the major regeneration projects lined up for the town.
East Suffolk Council has developed a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) to give suppliers the opportunity to prequalify for contracts and bid for work within eight subdivided procurement ‘lots’.
The lots include construction work valued at less than £500,000, making it more accessible to small and medium sized businesses.
The DPS has been launched to operate alongside the Lowestoft Town Investment Plan, which was developed by the Lowestoft Place Board in partnership with the council and sets out proposals for £350million of regeneration projects over the next 10 years.
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The plan was created as a catalyst for attracting funding from both public and private sector investment - such as the £24.9m government grant awarded for Lowestoft through the Towns Fund process last March.
Craig Rivett, East Suffolk Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development, said: “We’re anticipating work to be available on lots of varying sizes, providing exciting contracts for large and small, national and local providers throughout the lifetime of the 10-year Lowestoft Investment Plan.
“The DPS will allow providers to compete against their peers for appropriately sized contracts that will not be advertised outside the relevant lot.
“This isn’t just about pounds and pence – it’s about investing in and developing Lowestoft.
"We want to involve local businesses wherever possible and to develop the pool of skills in the Lowestoft area during the lifetime of this DPS.”
Potential suppliers just need to register, complete a questionnaire and be approved on East Suffolk Council’s electronic tendering site, hosted by In-tend eSourcing systems.