Return of market and restoration of historic buildings set for Lowestoft in Heritage Zone Action Plan
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Lowestoft's historic buildings will get a new lease of life and a regular market will be restored as part of plans to safeguard the town's history.
North Lowestoft was awarded Heritage Action Zone status by Historic England in 2017, which will allow renovation and regeneration work to take place to bring neglected historic buildings back to life and unlock economic and visitor potential.
A draft action plan has been drawn up to be approved by Waveney District Council's cabinet – and it includes a host of features set to benefit the town.
Among the measures are the return of a regular market, hosting cultural events for both visitors and locals, work with landlords to jointly fund repairs on historic buildings in the High Street and bring vacant and at risk buildings back into use.
The draft plan said: 'The creation of the Heritage Action Zone is timely and the scheme will help revive the town's historic heart by maximising the potential of historic assets and kick start regeneration.
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'It will bring buildings back into use as housing or retail spaces, and enhance the quality and connections of the historic streets and public spaces.
'It will improve the overall natural, historic and built environmental quality, making the area more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.'
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The action plan focuses on the medieval High Street, the steep cliff paths known as Scores, historic smokehouse, and Victorian parks.
The plan said that the economic downturn a decade ago coupled with changes in retail had affected the town centre, including the ability to safeguard historic buildings and invest in the area.
Funding bids totalling half a million pounds are set to be made to Historic England, including a repairs scheme bid for £150,000 from Historic England which will be match funded by Waveney District Council over a three year period.
It will be carried out as a partnership by Waveney District Council, Historic England, Lowestoft Town Council, Lowestoft Vision and the East Suffolk Building Preservation Trust.
Waveney's cabinet will decide whether to adopt the plan on Wednesday, which is recommended for approval.