Major investments at 'incredibly exciting time' for coastal town

The Welcome to Lowestoft sign.

The Welcome to Lowestoft sign. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

A range of investment projects are set to get under way in Lowestoft in 2021, with an "iconic" £126.75m bridge at the forefront of the regeneration.

After more than 100 years of waiting, it is finally all systems go for the new Gull Wing third crossing over Lake Lothing, with preparatory work starting last month on a project that is hoped to reduce traffic congestion in the town, regenerate the area and attract new investment for the local economy.

Visualisations of the Lake Lothing third crossing in Lowestoft.

Visualisations of the Lake Lothing third crossing in Lowestoft. Picture: Suffolk County Council - Credit: Suffolk County Council

The much-needed third crossing has been hailed as "an iconic and important bridge for Lowestoft," which is being delivered by Suffolk County Council and built by Farrans Construction.

Gull Wing Lowestoft. Picture: Suffolk County Council

Gull Wing Lowestoft. Picture: Suffolk County Council - Credit: Suffolk County Council

Construction of Lowestoft's long-awaited third crossing is set to begin in spring.

It will cross Lake Lothing and link Waveney Drive to Denmark Road and Peto Way, and is expected to open in the summer of 2023.

Visualisations of the Lake Lothing third crossing in Lowestoft. Picture: Suffolk County Council

Visualisations of the Lake Lothing third crossing in Lowestoft. Picture: Suffolk County Council - Credit: Suffolk County Council


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In January the junction of Durban Road with Waveney Drive was closed for two weeks for preparatory work as trial holes for utilities were checked.

In January the junction of Durban Road with Waveney Drive was closed for two weeks for preparatory work as trial holes for...

In January the junction of Durban Road with Waveney Drive was closed for two weeks for preparatory work as trial holes for utilities were checked. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Admitting it was "an incredibly exciting time" Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: "The Gull Wing will create local jobs and apprenticeship opportunities in Lowestoft and the Waveney area."

Waveney MP Peter Aldous.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous. - Credit: Peter Aldous

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The £126.75m bridge was given the final seal of approval by the government in November last year.

Back in April 2019, ground investigation works took place at the site of Lake Lothing third crossing in Lowestoft with...

Back in April 2019, ground investigation works took place at the site of Lake Lothing third crossing in Lowestoft with this tracked survey truck carrying out the works. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

From roads and infrastructure, right through to high street revamps, new beach facilities and digital upgrades, huge swathes of investment are set to transform the town in the coming years.

One of the historic Scores in Lowestoft.

One of the historic Scores in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

The Lowestoft Naval Memorial to the Royal Naval Patrol Service in Sparrow's Nest.

The Lowestoft Naval Memorial to the Royal Naval Patrol Service in Sparrow's Nest. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Heritage Action Zones  

Lowestoft has two Heritage Action Zones – one for the north and one for the south of the town – and both will see continued activity in 2021.

Lowestoft signage.

Lowestoft signage. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

A £560,000 boost for South Lowestoft last October saw the London Road Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) approved as part of a four-year programme.

Historic shopfronts in Lowestoft High Street.

Historic shopfronts in Lowestoft High Street. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

In the spring this year, a cultural programme will begin that explores the history of the area and showcases the shops operating there.

The historic Triangle Market in Lowestoft High Street.

The historic Triangle Market in Lowestoft High Street. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

With the North Lowestoft HAZ created in 2018, the five year heritage-led regeneration project is planning the return of the popular Heritage Open Days in the year ahead, with £700,000 being committed to shop front improvements in both zones.

Shopfronts and premises in the historic Lowestoft High Street.

Shopfronts and premises in the historic Lowestoft High Street. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

The former Crown Hotel in Lowestoft High Street.

The former Crown Hotel in Lowestoft High Street. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Post Office

The former Post Office in Lowestoft.

The former Post Office in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Last month, a significant regeneration plan was approved to give Lowestoft's historic former Post Office a new lease of life.

The former Post Office on London Road North, Lowestoft.

The former Post Office on London Road North, Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

After East Suffolk Council had bought the Grade II Listed Post Office in London Road North in 2018, plans were lodged to complete a revamp inside the building for a new commercial business, and demolish buildings at the back.

The former Post Office on London Road North, Lowestoft.

The former Post Office on London Road North, Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

A scheme for nine new affordable homes - five town houses and four flats, as well as an extension to the listed building part itself - was unanimously given the go-ahead despite a number of concerns.

The former Post Office Royal Mail entrance on Surrey Street, Lowestoft.

The former Post Office Royal Mail entrance on Surrey Street, Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Town Hall

The former Town Hall in Lowestoft.

The former Town Hall on Lowestoft High Street. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Transformation of a historic town hall site has taken significant steps forward in recent years.

The grade II listed Town Hall in Lowestoft has been vacant and unoccupied since spring 2015.

Lowestoft Town Hall

Lowestoft Town Hall. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

But it looks set to have a brighter future as a scheme progresses to revitalise the historic building, owned by Lowestoft Town Council (LTC), with a community focus.

In March last year it was recommended that a creative industries hub be established within the building following a Historic England-commissioned report.

The completed installation of artworks on 50 panels at Lowestoft town hall. Picture: Mick Howes

Lowestoft town hall. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Wedding ceremonies and receptions, exhibitions, craft markets, live music, conferences and events were just some of the ideas proposed as part of a £3.5m transformation of the High Street site.

One of the stained glass windows in the council chamber within Lowestoft Town Hall. Picture: Histori

One of the stained glass windows in the council chamber within Lowestoft Town Hall. Picture: Historic England - Credit: Historic England

And in recent weeks, an online town hall development survey has been run as the town council sought views on what the public would like to see in a "restored town hall in Lowestoft".

Beach

In July last year, a £1.6 million 40-week scheme of work started to stabilise the cliffs at the southern end of the beach and begin demolishing more than 50 of the old concrete beach huts along Jubilee Parade.

The chalets at Jubilee Parade in Lowestoft ahead of major construction works, after the beach huts h

The chalets at Jubilee Parade in Lowestoft ahead of major construction works, after the beach huts have been removed. Pictures: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

The scheme to demolish the 58 concrete beach chalets at the popular promenade on the south Lowestoft seafront and reinforce the lower cliff face at the southern end of the beach is due to be finished in the year ahead - hopefully in time for the First Light Festival in the summer.

Once the stabilisation is complete, a new platform is to be built for the new beach huts.

Work is continuing to demolish the concrete beach chalets on Jubilee Parade in Lowestoft. Pictures:

Work is continuing to demolish the concrete beach chalets on Jubilee Parade in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

A new disabled access beach platform is also planned, with work currently under way on designs and ground investigation work.

Work is continuing to demolish the concrete beach chalets on Jubilee Parade in Lowestoft. Pictures:

Work is continuing to demolish the concrete beach chalets on Jubilee Parade in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

In December, a scheme of emergency maintenance work was completed as part of temporary protection to the base of eroding cliffs in Pakefield.

Temporary protection at the base of the cliff and beach south of Arbor Lane in Pakefield.

Temporary protection at the base of the cliff and beach south of Arbor Lane in Pakefield. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

With the temporary beach protection work carried out to help support the vulnerable cliffs, sandbags were installed in a 100m length protection at the base of the cliff and beach south of Arbor Lane in Pakefield.

CEFAS

Work continuing on the Cefas development in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

Work continuing on the Cefas development in Lowestoft - Credit: Mick Howes

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) has embarked on a £16m redevelopment creating 100 new jobs.

The Cefas development in Lowestoft.

The Cefas development in Lowestoft. Picture: Duncan Boggis - Credit: Duncan Boggis

Work started on a new marine science centre in the summer of 2018 as new headquarters were built for Cefas at its site on Pakefield cliffs.

The major renovations were due to be completed last summer but amid the coronavirus lockdown, the works – which has seen Cefas’ current building, the former Grand Hotel, demolished and replaced with a new research centre and modern office building – were delayed.

Back then, demolition works under way at the Cefas building, the site of the former Grand Hotel, as part of a major £16m...

Back then, demolition works under way at the Cefas building, the site of the former Grand Hotel, as part of a major £16m development. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Smart Towns 

Last year East Suffolk Council’s cabinet approved the Smart Towns pilot in Framlingham, which will be rolled out to other key towns in the district, including Lowestoft.

Shoppers on London Road North in Lowestoft ahead of the second lockdown. Picture: Mick Howes

Shoppers on London Road North in Lowestoft ahead of the second lockdown. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

That scheme provides free Wi-Fi in the town centre – useful for shoppers, residents and businesses alike.

Lowestotft High Street

Lowestoft High Street. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

But it will also help firms in the area with features such as footfall data, information on offers available or promotional events and help businesses understand the peak times.

Discover Lowestoft signage.

Discover Lowestoft signage. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

Work started last summer and is due to continue through 2021.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust has been awarded a grant of £4m, allowing the creation of a new nature reser

Suffolk Wildlife Trust has been awarded a grant of £4m, allowing the creation of a new nature reserve at Carlton Marshes near Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Suffolk Wildlife Trust 

Suffolk Wildlife Trust has been busy with its new visitor centre at Carlton Marshes just outside Lowestoft.

Carlton Marshes nature reserve in Lowestoft. Picture: John Ferguson

Carlton Marshes nature reserve in Lowestoft. Picture: John Ferguson - Credit: John Ferguson

It is due to have a formal opening this year and has been hailed as “phenomenal asset on our doorstep”. 

An aerial view of Lowestoft, looking north. Picture: Mike Page.

An aerial view of Lowestoft, looking north. Picture: Mike Page. - Credit: Mike Page

Garden Village

Last month, Suffolk County Council launched a public consultation on plans for a landmark garden village adjacent to the A47 on land north of Lowestoft, within the parish of Corton.

The site area set to be transformed with the garden village on the North Of Lowestoft Consultation website.

The site area set to be transformed with the garden village on the North Of Lowestoft Consultation website. Picture: www.northoflowestoft.co.uk/ - Credit: www.northoflowestoft.co.uk/

A new primary school and pre school for 480 pupils, a retirement community and 1,300 homes are earmarked as part of the vision.

The Corton village sign. Picture: James Bass.

The Corton village sign. Picture: James Bass. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2010

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