Martello tower could become arts centre

A MARTELLO tower on a stretch of seafront could be transformed into an arts and education centre, it has been revealed.The project is in the early stages of development and would see the fortress on Felixstowe's south seafront regenerated into a Window of the World.

A MARTELLO tower on a stretch of seafront could be transformed into an arts and education centre, it has been revealed.

The project is in the early stages of development and would see the fortress on Felixstowe's south seafront regenerated into a Window of the World.

The proposal has been submitted in a report to Suffolk Coastal District Council by consultants Sheeran Lock Ltd after a brainstorming day was held last year with youngsters at Deben High School to assess what the options were for the tower.

The plans would see the historic building transformed into a multi-faceted arts, education and discovery centre for studies in environmental and coastal sciences, with new technology at its heart.


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The aim would be to connect Felixstowe globally - turning the tower into an international beacon communicating with and linking communities around the world, beginning with those with Martello towers.

It could also have interactive computer facilities which would enable students or visitors to explore the history of Martello towers in Felixstowe, and key issues such as the environment, and the use of IT.

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Rae Leighton, cabinet member for community well-being, said: “Thanks to the leisure and homes scheme planned for Felixstowe South, the funding is available for turning a dilapidated eyesore into a significant asset but this is likely to be our one and only opportunity to get it right.

“Although small, the redeveloped tower should be excellent in every respect and its potential use can include the landscaped area around it.

“We want to make the most of its potential and will now be calling in experts to help us plan its future, as well as involving local people.”

The council's partners in the Felixstowe South regeneration project, JS Bloors (Sudbury) Ltd, have committed £300,000 to the repairs and refurbishment of the tower and creating a public park around it.

Further funding options such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Union have already been flagged up as helping to unlock the potential of the tower.

Anyone wanting to find out more can see the Sheeran Lock report at www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/yourfreetime/arts/martello/

Craig.robinson@eadt.co.uk

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