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Cultural Quarter development given the go ahead

Plans for a major development which will reinvigorate Lowestoft’s town centre have been given planning consent by East Suffolk Council’s Planning Committee.

The Cultural Quarter project, which when complete will be known as Battery Green, is one of five transformational regeneration projects which received £24.9m from the Government’s Towns Fund in 2022 and will see the redevelopment of East Suffolk Council’s current Customer Services Centre and the former Battery Green multi-storey car park.

Designed by Norwich-based architects Chaplin Farrant, the development will provide a new cultural and community hub with studio space for creative businesses together with a leisure complex and restaurant.

Cllr Toby Hammond, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Economic Development and Transport said: “Battery Green will bring new facilities into the town centre and in combination with other regeneration projects which are also underway, this will help to attract visitors and businesses to Lowestoft and enhance the town for the benefit of local residents.”

Mark Camidge of Chaplin Farrant said: “Chaplin Farrant are delighted that the Battery Green proposals have been given the approval. A huge team effort from all involved has seen the designs develop through collaboration and public engagement to reach a final scheme that we hope will create a new vibrant cultural quarter for Lowestoft. A sustainable regeneration scheme comprising reuse, recycling and environmentally friendly new build will be a catalyst for the town moving forward.”

The Cultural Quarter project is just one of many regenerative projects underway in the town, with a new seafront complex being built at Jubilee Parade and improvements at Royal Plain, Royal Green and South Quay Wharf.

Earlier this month, East Suffolk Council, First Light Festival CIC and East Norfolk Sixth Form College announced that Arts Council England investment had been secured to bring three exciting cultural projects to Lowestoft. One of these is a unique Place Partnership project called The Battery of Ideas that brings together a consortium of leading cultural, education and creative health partners to test ideas for the development of the new Cultural Quarter.  First Light Festival CIC has been awarded £700,000 from Arts Council England for this project which will, with additional support of just under £300,000 from East Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council, re-use the former Tesco on London Road North as its base, to be a hub of creative participation, volunteering, creative skills and creative enterprise opportunities.

Agreement was reached earlier this month to relocate East Suffolk Council’s customer services facility as part of the plans for the Cultural Quarter.

Work at Battery Green will begin in the coming weeks and hoardings are currently being erected, resulting in the closure of the car park. The nearest car parks are at Whapload Road and Clapham Road.

The public toilets at Gordon Road will also be permanently closed as part of this multi-million-pound redevelopment. Alternative toilets are available at Lowestoft Bus Station, Lowestoft Station, the Triangle Market and in Lowestoft Library. New toilet facilities will also be included in the new development.