Views to be sought on future uses for resort’s redundant Town Hall

The empty Town Hall in Lowestoft. Picture: JAMES BASS

The empty Town Hall in Lowestoft. Picture: JAMES BASS - Credit: James Bass

The future of Lowestoft’s historic town hall site is to be progressed in the coming months as a council prepares for a major consultation.

The 161-year-old building previously served as the headquarters for Waveney District Council until staff vacated the site in 2015 as part of a £13m accommodation programme that led to the creation of the authority’s Riverside building on Canning Road.

Last year the Grade II listed town hall building was transferred over to the new Lowestoft Town Council – which is set to discuss bids and progress for a condition survey at a council meeting next week.

And, with plans for the building to be surveyed and stabilised, the council will be holding a public consultation over the future of the vacant town hall.

Lowestoft mayor Ian Graham said: “You will see things developing this year. Given the state of disrepair of the building initially we want to get into the town hall and stabilise the building before the winter.

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“Then we can go forward from there with a major public consultation seeking everyone’s views on future uses of the building as we want to encourage people back to the historic High Street.

“We want to get a market back in Lowestoft and some work will be done around the Triangle Market area.”

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Last year the town council held heritage open days, which included public visits inside the clock tower and old council chamber. The success of these events led to positive public feedback – with a number of ideas mooted for future uses of the building. These included a community hall, arts venue, wedding venue and performance area.

And with the successful North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone announcement late last year – which saw Lowestoft’s historic High Street and Scores unveiled as one of eight new HAZs as part of a five-year scheme run by Waveney District Council and Historic England – the town council is hopeful of now being in a stronger position to bid for further external funding pots.

Mr Graham said they have submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the town hall, and are seeking further grant funding to “help protect our heritage assets for future generations.”

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