Felixstowe: Grants will be needed if Martello Tower is to become tourist attraction
- Credit: Archant
Hopes of turning an historic Napoleonic fort into an exciting tourist attraction hinge on those behind the project being able to gain substantial grant aid.
Various ideas, including a restaurant, art gallery, and interactive education and visitor centre, have been put forward for the Martello Tower standing in the centre of new homes and maritime park being constructed on Felixstowe’s south seafront.
The 200-year-old tower is empty but its roof is home to the resort’s Coastwatch UK volunteer look-out team, part of the resort’s coast and seafront rescue and emergency network.
Suffolk Coastal council leader Ray Herring said as part of the partnership deal with Bloor Homes for the £20million-plus 17-acre development the council would receive £280,000 towards the development of the tower as a heritage attraction.
However, the refurbishment and conversion of the monument was likely to cost much more.
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An arrangement has been agreed for the council to share part of the profits if the 127 homes sell for more than anticipated, and some of this could also go towards the tower project.
Mr Herring said: “We wanted some investment in the Martello Tower to protect it for the future and there will be £280,000 going into the refurbishment.
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“But we do accept that this will only be part of the financial package needed for the tower and we will have to make applications in due course to other bodies for grants.”