Felixstowe: Homes or offices could go on site of Spa Pavilion

Felixstowe's Spa Pavilion.

Felixstowe's Spa Pavilion. - Credit: Archant

CONVERTING the Spa Pavilion into offices or homes will be considered by community leaders as they look for fresh ways to find a buyer for the former theatre.

They are not ruling out a tourism use – either solely for theatre or combined with another attraction – but are being strongly recommended to relax the rules on its future use, with demolition and redevelopment of its seafront site becoming much more likely.

The project board working on the Spa’s future has ruled out offering it for sale by closed bid or auction.

It has stressed the need for a new approach – and to give potential buyers an indication of acceptable development.

Members of Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet will discuss the situation next Tuesday and give their views on the way forward.

Their recommendation could include allowing homes or offices on the site, spending £200,000 on demolition and then marketing the land afresh for a new tourist attraction, or bulldozing it and incorporating the site into the seafront gardens refurbishment project.

Specialist agents Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) have been marketing the property and have had some interest, but both bids received – from Spa Pavilion Associates and Ambitions – have been rejected.

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Cabinet member for leisure and economic development, Geoff Holdcroft said: “JLL are continuing to market the venue to identify interested parties and have a few organisations that are interested in the site. However, the majority of developers have concerns regarding the restrictions imposed by cabinet resolution.

“Given the poor response to the marketing process to date, the lack of sustainable and viable bids and the potential escalating costs of maintaining a vacant building, the project board feels it is now timely for cabinet to evaluate other options to ensure a successful conclusion to the project.”