The New Year sees the start of the next important stage of the Lowestoft Town Hall Project as designs are put out for the public to view, and work on securing the next stage of funding begins.
There is an opportunity for members of the public to engage with the Town Hall plans with a chance to see the designs and meet architects from HAT Projects, who are leading the design work, at two public meetings on Friday 20th January 2pm-5pm and Saturday 21st January 10am-4pm at The Grit Arts Centre. Members of the project team and Councillors will be on hand alongside the architects to answer any questions you have. The designs will also be available for people to view online and at local libraries and community centres as the project looks to update the public on plans which have been heavily influenced by the public consultation back in 2021.
Alongside the desire for the Town Hall to be the home for Lowestoft Town Council, the initial public consultation also had the majority of replies wanting Lowestoft’s heritage to be celebrated within the Town Hall. To enable this, the Project Team recently appointed People Landscapes and Buildings Ltd (PLB Ltd) as interpretation consultants to implement a compelling and interactive heritage experience within the planned Heritage Gallery and other areas in the redeveloped Town Hall. PLB Ltd will be working with Project Team to consult and engage local heritage experts, museums, volunteers, families, schools and communities with the concept designs to inform how they develop.
2022 saw a variety of heritage engagement activities as the project looks to engage with a wide range of people. Activities have included workshops with the Food In School Holidays sessions to create stained glass Christmas cards inspired by the Town Hall Council Chamber’s stained glass, pottery workshops with Lowestoft Ceramics Studio, and the Memories Bike turning up at a wide range of events from the Great Big Green Weekender in September to the Oulton Broad Everitt Park Trust Christmas event. The Open Days in October saw over 200 people visit the Town Hall over two days to find out more about the project and the history of the site whilst also getting a chance to see some graffiti artwork, created by YMCA Shine youth groups and local artist Stane. Some of these pieces will be displayed on the Mariner Street hoardings early in 2023.
Photo: Some of the stained glass activities taking place, inspired by the Town Hall's stained glass
One of the most popular engagement initiatives has been Your Lowestoft Memories in collaboration with Poetry People, with over 100 people attending a one day exhibition at the Parcels Office where further stories were shared. This initiative has been collecting the stories and memories of the Town Hall and Lowestoft Industries from the people of Lowestoft and the response has been positive. Stories from the Eastern Coachworks Richard’s Shipyard and many other industries have been shared with people bringing along photo albums and one person even bringing along their toolbox. All the memories will be collated and turned into a video poem which will be premiered in February.
Photo: People attending the 'Your Lowestoft Memories' exhibition. Photo credit: Lewis Wickwar
As 2023 begins, plans are already in place for future activities whilst investigative surveys and opening up works at the Town Hall continue to inform the detailed designs. Amongst the activities, Local Community Artist Genevieve Rudd will be delivering free creative workshops inspired by the Town Hall whilst three students from East Coast College Art and Design course will be curating their own exhibit and taking over the Town Hall project’s social media accounts as the project continues to engage with a wide range of people.
Cllr Alan Green, Mayor of Lowestoft said “2023 is such an important year for the Town Hall project with the next stage of applying for funding taking place in May. I have been pleased with the amount of engagement and enthusiasm that the people of Lowestoft have for this project. Your input is vital for the future of this project during this crucial year.”
If the Stage 2 funding is approved, the Town Hall Project Team will continue with their aim of having the Town Hall open in Summer/Autumn 2025.
The Lowestoft Town Hall Project is a Lowestoft Town Council initiative supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Towns Fund, Architectural Heritage Fund, Historic England and East Suffolk Council.
Read more on Design Consultations ahead of big 2023 for Town Hall Project
Lowestoft Town Council were delighted to receive this card of thanks from HM King Charles III today on behalf of the people of Lowestoft.
After the sad passing of the late Queen Elizabeth II, the Mayor of Lowestoft, Cllr Alan Green, sent a letter of condolence to HM The King on behalf of the people of Lowestoft.
The card, signed by HM The King and addressed to the residents of Lowestoft reads:
"It was so very kind of you to send me such a wonderfully generous message following the death of my beloved mother. Your most thoughtful words are enormously comforting, and I cannot tell you how deeply they are appreciated at this time of immense sorrow."
Read more on Lowestoft receives letter of thanks from HM The King
From everyone at Lowestoft Town Council, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, however you choose to celebrate it.
Please note that the Town Council’s Offices will be closed from Friday 23rd December 2022 until Tuesday 3rd January 2023.
Please do continue to enjoy the range of parks and open spaces our town has to offer. If you spot a problem at any of our assets please call East Suffolk Norse on 0345 040 2020.
Any incidents of anti-social behaviour or unfortunate vandalism should be reported to Suffolk Police on 101.
Read more on Town Council Offices Opening Times over Christmas
As in previous years, the toilets within our parks will be locked from Christmas Eve afternoon until Boxing Day. Toilet facilities outside of parks will be left open as usual.
The Community Governance Review of 2017 which lead to the formation of a new council for Lowestoft stated that civic artefacts, memorabilia and other items donated to, or purchased on behalf of, the town of Lowestoft and its residents would be transferred to the new Lowestoft Town Council.
These items have been in long-term storage and a detailed programme of inspection and audit has been completed. We are pleased to confirm that the full list of items, as included the legal framework for the transfer to the Town Council has been identified with very few relatively low value exceptions, including a small rug with Polish emblem, a book entitled 'Education Civique (a guide to Plaisir)', a small wooden cased thermometer, a coat of arms painted with the motto 'Point Du Jour', a watercolour of a moored sailing boat, a royal lifeboat citation and a pennant which says 'Borough of Lowestoft'. The Town Council will not be pursuing these items further due to the low valuation figure recorded on these items in 2017. However, the Town Council is keen to hear if anyone knows the whereabouts of a silver two handled cup on a shaped plinth which was engraved with the inscription ‘Lowestoft Drama Festival Comedy’ which is approximately 18 cm in height and has not yet been accounted for. Perhaps this was awarded to a local drama club or theatre group?
The long term plan for these civic artefacts is that selected paintings and items of historic interest will be displayed in a renovated Town Hall where they will be available for all to view and enjoy.
The Tennis Courts at Normanston Park and Kensington Gardens have reopened after a surface inspection. Please be aware that the surfaces may become slippery due to changes in the weather.
Due to the adverse weather, the Tennis Courts at Normanston Park and Kensington Gardens have been closed.
Please keep an eye on our social media and website for further updates.
Following the tragic incident that took place at Babbs Mill Lake in Solihull, there has been increased awareness on water safety, especially during the winter.
With this in mind, Lowestoft Town Council are promoting the resources and advice from the Royal Life Saving Society. The RLSS are a UK charity who raise awareness of water safety education and training.
For the winter months, their advice is to:
There are a number of great resources available to download for free from the RLSS website, including an awareness activitiy sheet for children and an information booklet.
All the above information has been supplied by the Royal Life Saver Society. Please share these safety tips with your friends and family.
Lowestoft Town Council seeks a contractor to undertake a series of opening up works throughout the Grade II listed Lowestoft Town Hall. This work will provide key information to the design team, including architects and structural engineers, during their RIBA3 stage work.
The Town Hall has been vacant since 2015. Due to lack of use, the historic fabric of the building is now in a precarious state, leading to the building being placed on the Buildings at Risk register. The building is a key strategic element within the North Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone (NLHAZ).
This project, which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Architectural Heritage Fund, Historic England, East Suffolk Council and Towns Fund, will transform the Town Hall into a multifunctioning building that will be in the heart of historic Lowestoft and the Harbour Ward.
The contractor will undertake room-specific opening up works throughout the Town Hall, enabling the design team to understand better the underlying structure and current condition of key elements of the building, currently hidden by modern additions, floor finishes etc. No geotechnical work is required at this stage.
Potential bidders should note that there is asbestos present within the building, and they must manage any asbestos containing materials, or suspected ACMs, that are disturbed as a result of the opening up works, in accordance with the asbestos register recommendations and in line with all health and safety regulations.
The appointed contractor will have experience of work in listed buildings, and must provide details of how they will deal with ACMs in the building. All applicants must hold a minimum of £5m Public Liability Insurance and £5m Employer's Liability Insurance. All quotes must be inclusive of all fees, expenses and other costs, and note whether VAT is applicable.
Suitably experienced contractors should contact Lowestoft Town Council to register their interest and request copies of:
a) the opening up specifications schedule and accompanying plans
b) the asbestos refurbishment survey, completed Aug 22.
All bids must be submitted by 4 January 2023 at 12 noon. It is expected the work will be completed by 6 February at the latest.
To register interest and receive the documents, please email email@example.com.
Lowestoft Town Council has been shortlisted for the ‘Love Parks’ Award at Keep Britain local authority Network Awards 2023.
The ‘Love Parks’ Award recognises the efforts put in by councils and organisations around the UK to celebrate their green spaces during Love Parks Week, which was celebrated in July-August 2022.
Lowestoft Town Council has been shortlisted for its online awareness campaign which achieved a high level of interest and engagement during the week. The campaign focused on a number of parks around Lowestoft, highlighting their history and raising awareness of the care taken by Lowestoft Town Council to ensure that the parks can be enjoyed by everyone. Much of the engagement during the campaign fed into the Neighbourhood Development Plan Open Green Spaces document stakeholder consultation which looks to provide protection for the parks and open spaces that the people of Lowestoft cherish in different ways.
Councillor Alan Green, Mayor of Lowestoft said: “I am delighted that our Love Parks Week campaign has been recognised on a national level. As the Town Council, we take great pride in our parks and open spaces across Lowestoft so to see our efforts being publicised nationally is a great achievement that the who town should be proud of.”
Out of the around one hundred entries that Keep Britain Tidy receives, just three local authorities are shortlisted in each category. So the competition is tough.
A Keep Britain Tidy spokesperson said “Our Network Awards celebrate the most innovative litter, waste and space solutions developed by local authorities, often with the incredible collaboration and contribution of residents. Our hope is that these fantastic initiatives will inspire others to do the same.”
Lowestoft Town Council will find out if they’ve won at Keep Britain Tidy’s local authority Network Awards that take place at the Crowne Plaza, Liverpool on 9th February 2023.
Read more on Lowestoft Town Council shortlisted for Keep Britain Tidy's "Love Parks" Award
On Saturday 19th November, a new memorial plaque to commemorate the steam drifter "Reclaim" was unveiled in a short ceremony on South Pier.
The event included a welcome from the Mayor of Lowestoft, Cllr Alan Green, an address from Cllr Andy Pearce, prayers from Amanda Wisher from the Fisherman's Mission and closing remarks from Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney.
In the morning of Friday 19 November 1937, having just left the harbour on its way to the fishing grounds, the Steam Drifter “Reclaim” was run down and sunk in a squall by the Steamer “Hurunui”, just a few miles offshore. In total, nine crew members lost their lives during this tragedy – two from Lowestoft, one from Beccles and six from Kessingland – with only one surviving crew member, the cook Samuel Mortishire, from Lowestoft. Each of these lives, plus the life of the owner of the “Reclaim”, Robert Utting of Kessingland, are commemorated by name on this memorial. The plaque aims to recognise each of the lost lives as people rather than statistics.
Lowestoft Town Council would like to thank Associated British Ports and the Lowestoft South Pier Management Committee for allowing this memorial to be placed on the Pier, and also LaserUs and Darren Breeze Woodturning for designing, making, and installing the memorial plaque. Thank you also for LaserUs for the photos.