max temp: 15°C

min temp: 15°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


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.”



  • 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


    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

Rory Marriott, who was sent on a nearly 30mile diversion

We all bemoan the diversions which close the highways and byways of Suffolk when roadworks are set up.

The Orwell Bridge

There have been a number of crashes on the county’s roads this morning.

Campaigners have been calling for a by-pass for decades.

Local councils are to spend £500,000 in a bid to kick-start proposals for a four villages’ by-pass – a move that could see the road opened by 2021.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central

A major conference aimed at pushing ahead with dramatic changes to Ipswich town centre is to be held at the end of this month.

The area in Clarkson Street where two gangs fought on September 23

An Ipswich mother-of-two has told of how she was left terrified after getting caught up in the middle of fighting between groups of young men wielding bricks, lumps of wood and an axe.

David Acton, Hannah Hutch and Patti Love in Jane Wenham-The Witch of Walkern, which is touring Suffolk and Essex

A leading Suffolk private school has cancelled a play by an Oscar-winning and National Theatre-sponsored playwright because of fears about bad language and its subject matter which covers child abuse.

Sharon Halls and Daniel Compton's baby, Evie

The mother of a premature baby born 12 weeks early in the Dominican Republic has said they are not expecting to travel home before December.

Police have defended the use of an offender rehabilitation scheme

The leader of a scheme to rehabilitate prolific offenders in Suffolk has clarified its responsibilities after a sex scandal involving one of its team attracted attention.

Dan Poulter with employees at B&Q

The proposed closure of the B&Q superstore on the edge of Ipswich will lift a huge question mark over the future of one of the town’s largest retail parks.

Talented golfer William Turner, 18,  from Shoeburyness

A teenager who has been sentenced for causing the death of his best-friend will live with his actions “forever”.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages