Unveiling of shelter is final piece in seafront gardens restoration
A resort’s seafront gardens – loved by residents and visitors alike – are fully open to the public again following the completion of a £4.8million restoration project.
The final piece in the eight-garden jigsaw was a new arts-and-crafts style shelter, unveiled in the South Cliff Gardens next to Felixstowe Town Hall.
TJ Haworth-Culf, Suffolk Coastal council’s cabinet member for customers, communities and leisure, said: “We’re so pleased to see the completion of this unique project in Felixstowe.
“Since the gardens re-opened in the summer, we’ve had a great response from local people and tourists visiting the area.
“We’re already seeing more people using them and the addition of the lighting in the gardens means visitors are able to enjoy the gardens on winter evenings.
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“Already, four months on, the gardens have grown beautifully and they will continue to flourish over the next few years.
“Although the project may now be at an end, we have a long term commitment with the gardens through support from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) 10-year maintenance plan to ensure the gardens are looked after.”
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The South Cliff Gardens have always had a shelter since their creation in Edwardian times. The last one was demolished in the 1980s.
The new open wood-framed shelter features bespoke furniture and a granite tiled floor. Nearby steps have been adorned with plaques featuring poems written by local children.
Contractors Breheny completed the rest of the gardens stretching from the Spa Pavilion to Bath Hill in the summer.
The gardens’ features include refurbished historic shelters, waterfall, ponds and walls, new lighting, planting of low-maintenance grasses, shrubs and trees, and a heritage trail telling their history.
The work to the gardens – designated Grade II on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest – was jointly funded by the HLF and Suffolk Coastal, which intends to obtain Green Flag status from the Civic Trust.