Lowestoft is Britain’s most easterly town and is the second largest in Suffolk situated between the eastern edge of The Broads National Park and the North Sea.
The town is well connected to major destinations via road, rail, sea and air. There are both rail and road links to Ipswich and Norwich (and onto London) as well as a direct ‘A’ road link with Norwich and the A11 corridor and close connections to the A14. The Port of Lowestoft also boasts a popular marina and berthing facilities. Norwich International Airport is a 45-minute drive from Lowestoft, offering direct UK flights as well as scheduled flights to Schipol Airport, Amsterdam with connections to over 650 worldwide destinations.
Lowestoft has a traditional economic structure characterised by a large manufacturing sector, a smaller services sector and a noticeable dependence on larger employees within key sectors such as food and drink. The town also has a long and successful association with the energy industry with over 50 years experience in the oil and gas industry. Its location strategically places it in a prime position to access huge investment opportunities with the area being one of the UK’s primary locations for offshore wind generation, operations and maintenance bringing a wealth of employment opportunities.
This family coastal resort, famed for being the birthplace of Benjamin Britten offers plenty for any visitor including an award winning beach, bustling Port, heritage quay, parks and gardens, museums, sporting facilities and a variety of shopping areas on offer.
There are a number of projects and initiatives currently underway which show that the town is in a unique position creating the perfect environment for unlocking economic growth and creating job opportunities, which you can read more about below.
East Suffolk Council will support regeneration and investment in Lowestoft by:
Developing opportunities for both the seafront and the town centre, recognising that the visitor economy and cultural sectors need to play a key role in both but that they also need to continue to evolve
Advancing the cultural offer in Lowestoft, including through the Heritage Action Zone; through the East of England Park; through the Making Waves Together project; and through plans for a First Light Festival
- Emphasising skills and workforce development issues in the Lowestoft area and working with local schools, colleges and businesses to improve employability, and enhance provision and uptake
- Continuing to advance infrastructure priorities in Lowestoft (road, rail, port-related and flood defences), including by emphasising the importance of Lowestoft in Suffolk
Projects Currently Under Way
Making Waves Together
Making Waves Together, led by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and East Suffolk Council, is seeing communities in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth work together to build cultural partnerships, engage new audiences and put arts, culture and heritage at the heart of the local vision.
As part of Making Waves Together, we are making and producing culture across Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, working with Business Improvement Districts, utilising redundant spaces and retail units to enable pop ups and events. This type of activity is supporting the recommendations from the Grimsby Review around curating a place based approach on its distinct heritage when developing the offer for the town centre and focus on transforming the place into a community hub incorporating culture, arts, entertainment and leisure.
Projects delivered through Making Waves Together, funded by Great Places, supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England and Historic England will include in Lowestoft a series of pop up activities and performances showcased around the town centre. Our partner Marina Theatre will be holding home-grown and takeaway performances around Lowestoft town centre telling the story of the alternative history of Lowestoft in the summer 2019.
For more information, visit the Making Waves Together website.
Heritage Action Zone
The Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) focuses on the North Lowestoft Conservation Area with its medieval High Street, Scores, historic smokehouses and net stores, and once fine Victorian Parks. It will also include areas closely bordering the conservation area, including those earmarked for new residential development to the west, and the industrial setting of the PowerPark and the open space of Ness Park. The programme will use heritage- led regeneration to uplift the area. It is a five year programme that began in 2018 and is funded by Historic England in partnership with East Suffolk Council, Lowestoft Town Council and the East Suffolk Building Preservation Trust (ESBPT). The partnership works with a range of other local partners including Lowestoft Vision and Lowestoft Rising.
The Heritage Action Zone will:
- Encourage footfall by implementing improvements to pedestrian access, including use of the Scores
- Support retail and other businesses with the HAZ boundary
- Research and engage the community into the historic significance of the area and its assets
- Bring vacant and ‘at risk’ buildings back into use
- Identify and support delivery of new open market housing into the area
- Work with private sector owners and landlords to jointly fund repair and restoration of historical features back onto the high street
- Support open spaces and cultural events for the community and visitors to enjoy
For more information, visit the Historic England website.
Town Centre Project
Against the national backdrop and report of reducing retail in high streets, East Suffolk Council are working with partners to develop a high street strategy for Lowestoft which is aimed at revitalising the town centre to provide visitors with a wider offer to include leisure, culture, services, to increase footfall and attract more visitors to the town, and to provide a improved and vibrant environment for local communities.
Lake Lothing Third Crossing
The Lake Lothing Third Crossing will link from Waveney Drive on the south side, to Denmark Road and Peto Way on the north side of Lake Lothing. It will be a lifting bridge to enable tall vessels to pass through. However, it will also be higher than the existing bascule bridge so a large number of boats would be able to pass underneath without the need to lift.
This Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project will bring traffic, safety and reliability benefits worth £531 million into the local economy by reducing congestion and delay on the existing bridges, improving bus journey times and reliability and opening up opportunities for regeneration and growth.
Construction is due to begin in 2019 with the bridge opening in 2022. For more information, visit the Suffolk County Council website.
East Suffolk Council is working with Wayne Hemingway and Lowestoft Coastal Community Team to attract more visitors to Lowestoft’s South Beach. This will involve the physical regeneration of parts of the seafront but will also mean introducing more events to the area.
First Light Festival was a huge success as the first multi-arts 24-hour free festival in Lowestoft, designed to celebrate the fact that the town is the most easterly point in the country and therefore sees the daylight first. It took place on the summer solstice, 22nd-23rd June 2019. Thousands of people came to take part in music, art, dance, film, talks, walks, sports and science along the promenade and on the beach.
East Point Pavilion has been granted funding from the Coastal Revival Fund which will help to ascertain its future. Royal Green Play Park has secured £123,500 of Community Infrastructure Levy funding to extend the play area and make it more accessible to disabled users.
For more information, visit the Lowestoft South Beach website.