Spa Pavilion owners to reveal their plans this week

The Spa Pavilion at Felixstowe.

The Spa Pavilion at Felixstowe. - Credit: Archant

Theatre bosses will this week outline their plans for the future of a seaside venue they have purchased for £1.

NRG Theatres bought the Spa Pavilion at Felixstowe from Suffolk Coastal council after submitting proposals for rejuvenating the 913-seater seafront theatre.

Its aim is to act as a catalyst, partnering with all groups able to create productions which will fill the auditorium and put the Spa on a sustainable commercial footing.

Over the next year the company will spend £100,000 on refurbishment work.

This will include a cosmetic refurbishment of the front of house, kitchen, bar and restaurant areas to enable a short summer season of touring events to take place this year and the re-opening of full restaurant and bar facilities, which is likely to be in partnership with a well-known caterer.

There will then be extensive backstage improvements next year.

NRG has already announced that the resort’s panto will return this year – with the Dennis Lowe Theatre Company presenting Cinderella from December 19 to January 3.

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On Friday, NRG, which was formed specifically to save the Spa Pavilion and took over the building last month, is holding a launch event at the venue, when it will explain its proposals and ideas.

Community leaders and many representatives from the local amateur dramatic community are expected to be present.

Chief executive Ray Anderson said he was excited about the project, revealed that more shows are in the pipeline, and said he had been overwhelmed by the messages of support and offers of help since the announcement of the new ownership.

He said: “We have had over 300 people join our mailing list, over 150 messages of support and a large number of former staff and performers offering help and ideas.

“Not one person has been anything other than 100% positive about our ideas in the messages to us, which is very reassuring.

“A couple of people have suggested that I might be slightly mad to acquire a large theatre, having previously concentrated on producing and directing in other media, but I couldn’t be more excited by the challenge.

“We are more determined than ever to reward those who have shown us such fantastic support with a vibrant and successful theatre.”