Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Felixstowe: Spa Pavilion revival moves a step closer

14:35 25 July 2014

The Spa Pavilion at Felixstowe

The Spa Pavilion at Felixstowe

Archant

A seafront theatre looks set to be given a new lease of life after the proposed new owner confirmed their intention to relaunch the venue.

Suffolk Coastal District Council has announced that its search to find a new owner for Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion remains on track, following news earlier this year that it had selected a preferred bidder to revive the theatre.

In May, the Council revealed that, following an extensive marketing campaign, it had selected a preferred bidder to possibly take over the premises, with plans to relaunch the venue following its closure in January 2013.

The plan was to finalise a business case with the unnamed bidder over three months, in the hope of securing the future of the venue, which was forced to close after the council agreed it could no longer afford to funding and was having to subsidise ticket sales after audience attendance fell.

The theatre, which had been managed on the council’s behalf by Openwide International since 2006, faced possible demolition if a buyer was not found.

With the three-month business case period due to expire at the end of this month, Suffolk Coastal has confirmed that the intention of the bidder is to “re-energise and relaunch” the Spa Pavilion as a theatre venue, along with a refurbished restaurant and other services.

Suffolk Coastal’s planning boss, Geoff Holdcroft said: “Although nothing has been agreed, our negotiations with the preferred bidder remain on track. The work we have done with them, to date, has been very positive and promising.

“We are now at the stage where we intend to continue to work with the preferred bidder, in confidence, to enter into detailed negotiations and to develop a binding legal contract.

“This is definitely a very positive step forward and I am optimistic that the Spa Pavilion can be reopened. Hopefully, we can now work with the preferred bidder to find a way forward to retain a revitalised Spa Pavilion, in the heart of Felixstowe.”

Suffolk Coastal is not revealing the identity of the preferred bidder at this stage, as no contract has been signed.

If an agreement is reached, a legal contract relating to the future of the venue is expected to be completed by November 2014, to allow for completion of some improvement works ahead of a possible spring 2015 reopening.

The council is now entering detailed negotiations, which are likely to last some months.

Graham Newman, mayor of Felixstowe, said: “The people of Felixstowe want to see something happen to the venue, particularly if it means restoring the auditorium for stage performances, so anything that indicates a move in that direction is encouraging.

“From my [Suffolk County Council] campaigning last May, it was very much still on people’s lips. Whatever the practicalities, they want to see some sort of restoration.”

2 comments

  • Let's hope this bidder has infinite reserves of patience. Negotiating with Suffolk Coastal must be like walking through treacle with lead boots on. Just ask the Spa Gardens contractors...... Anyway, not holding my breath.....couldn't think of anyone less likely to seal the deal than SCDC.

    Report this comment

    paul

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • typical of the council,dragging its heels as ever

    Report this comment

    barry chark

    Friday, July 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Fans of Tom Jones show off their memorabilia as he performs at The Regent Theatre in Ipswich in November 1992

In the last few weeks he has made his return to The Voice UK but back in 1992 Welsh superstar Tom Jones was gracing the stage in Ipswich.

Cllr John Spence

Households in Essex are due to pay an average of £33.50 extra next financial year in council tax under plans unveiled by County Hall and fire chiefs.

Sudbury's Saturday market is not as well attended as the town's Thursday market

Market traders in Sudbury who are facing a 5% increase in stall fees this year will be asked how the twice weekly markets could be made more attractive to shoppers.

Pigeon Point, Tobago

It was a country like no other. Here’s what I loved about the beautiful islands of Trinidad and Tobago and why you should grab the chance to visit.

Members of Suffolk County Council will meet in Endeavour House next month to approve the budget.

Council tax bills across Suffolk are set to rise by just under 3% in April to help pay for social care across the county.

Foxhall Day Centre in Ipswich

The closure of a “crucial” day care service would be a “real loss” to an Ipswich community, a councillor has said.

Sealand

A tiny independent mini-state off the Suffolk coast is bracing itself for an influx of migrants – due to the votes for Brexit and Donald Trump.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24