£3m scheme to revamp resort's seafront

THE biggest investment in a town's seafront since its Victorian heyday is set to go ahead after a £3.1million lottery pledge was agreed.It should see work begin next year on a major redevelopment of the Kensington and Wellington gardens in Lowestoft, the esplanade and the promenade, which make up one of the east coast resort's prime heritage sites.

THE biggest investment in a town's seafront since its Victorian heyday is set to go ahead after a £3.1million lottery pledge was agreed.

It should see work begin next year on a major redevelopment of the Kensington and Wellington gardens in Lowestoft, the esplanade and the promenade, which make up one of the east coast resort's prime heritage sites.

The project is expected to take two years to complete, but will provide a boost for tourism and jobs. The decision comes just days after it was revealed a buyer was being sought to revitalise the town's Claremont pier.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has earmarked the money - the major part of the overall £4.5m cost - and once final designs have been completed bids will go in to the East of England Development Agency and European Objective 2.

Jim Rowley, Waveney District Council regeneration projects manager, said: “The seafront is Lowestoft's best-loved local facility and investment will make a major difference to the amenities enjoyed by local people and our visitors.

“Given the importance of tourism to Waveney, creating 10% of jobs in our area, this project is critical to the regeneration of Lowestoft and Waveney.”

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The proposed scheme includes:

n repairing and restoring the boating lake, the Japanese gardens and the planting area and extending the café and bowling and play facilities in Kensington Gardens

n resurfacing and relighting the esplanade in a more traditional style, replacing shelters and repairing the Jubilee Parade chalets (north and south)

n reinstating the railings at Wellington Gardens with improvements to planting displays and landscaping

n producing a 10-year management plan to ensure the gardens and seafront are well maintained in the future.

A spokesman for landscape advisers Allen Scott said: “We are delighted. If this project is completed, it will herald a new dawn for Lowestoft as a resort destination.

“This potential investment is comparable to the levels spent on the seafront at its fashionable height in Victorian times.”

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