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Seafront building may be leased

PUBLISHED: 10:51 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:42 05 July 2010

A council-owned seafront information centre and restaurant could be leased to a private owner because it is too expensive to run.

The East Point Pavilion, on Lowestoft's Royal Plain, is home to the town's tourist information centre as well as an indoor children's play area and a restaurant.

A council-owned seafront information centre and restaurant could be leased to a private owner because it is too expensive to run.

The East Point Pavilion, on Lowestoft's Royal Plain, is home to the town's tourist information centre as well as an indoor children's play area and a restaurant.

Now Waveney District Council, which owns the glass Edwardian-style building, wants to hand the running of the pavilion over on a private lease to free up some council funds.

The pavilion, which opened in 1993, was funded in part by a grant from the European Regional Development Fund. This means that the council cannot sell it without having to repay the money to the government, so instead it is hoping to secure a long-term lease until about 2021.

At a meeting of the council's cabinet on Monday night, deputy leader Colin Law said that a detailed report will be drawn up to look a possible future uses for the building.

The decision to complete a full report into the different possibilities for the future of the building comes just weeks after Waveney announced its plans to hand other assets - including the outdoor swimming pools in Beccles and Halesworth - over to community groups because they cost too much to maintain.

Waveney's Liberal Democrat group leader Andrew Shepherd said at the meeting: “This is a prime site in the town centre and we should be very proud of it. I would hate to see it going into private ownership.

“It took the council many years to purchase that site after the old Royal Hotel was pulled down and it should remain a prime site on Lowestoft seafront.”

David Ritchie said: “Bearing in mind the current recession, if tenders received for the pavilion are too low then we need to have the option available not to go ahead.”

The council's cabinet also decided to dispose of land at Pinbush Close in Lowestoft where the old Bloodmoor community centre was located.

A new community centre opened on the Bloodmoor estate about three years ago and now the old site could be leased out for industrial or business use.

The council will also consider selling a vacant site at North Quay, behind the AHF store.

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