Renovated gardens open to the public at last
- Credit: Archant
Regeneration of Felixstowe’s nationally-important seafront gardens reaches a major milestone today with the long-awaited official opening of most of the work.
Seven of the iconic gardens around the Spa Pavilion can now be enjoyed by the public, with contractors continuing to complete the eighth and final area alongside the Town Hall.
The multi-million pound project should have been completed a year ago, but was delayed after a dispute with the original contractor.
TJ Haworth-Culf, Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member with responsibility for customers, communities and leisure, said: “The gardens are looking fantastic now and will only improve as the plants bed in properly over the next year or so.
“It is great that we have managed to get seven of the gardens re-opened for part of the summer season and ahead of the bank holiday weekend.”
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“It is important that we do not underestimate the importance of this project to Felixstowe. When we asked the people of the town, they highlighted the restoration of the Seafront Gardens as a key priority.”
“Although we have had a very difficult and frustrating journey with this project, we are now looking forward to the restored gardens as a centre-piece within a vibrant Felixstowe seafront. We need to look to the future and take pride in what we are helping to achieve in Felixstowe.
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“This is a long-term investment in the future prosperity of Felixstowe. This is just one of many exciting developments happening in the town, which link to the positive work now being done through Felixstowe Forward.”
The council attracted Heritage Lottery Funding HLF) of more than £2million to cover most of the restoration work. At that time, in 2011, the cost of the project was estimated at £2.81m.
However, the cost was originally under-estimated.
The final overall cost rose to about £4.8m, with the council agreeing to effectively match-fund the project with the HLF.
While minor works and planting are to be completed in the seven gardens, the only remaining major work is in the eighth where a wooden-framed clifftop shelter is to be built.