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Transforming Our Town Centre; Retail & Leisure

LowestoftLowestoft celebrates being the most easterly point in the UK where the sun rises first. It has a beautiful seafront with big skies, beautiful light and an unspoilt sense of place not often found by the sea. Our vision is to make more people aware of this asset and to open it up for different experiences and different age groups.

We will achieve this by repurposing the town centre and creating four distinct but connected quarters; Station Quarter, the Heart of Lowestoft, Innovation Axis and the Historic Quarter, which are complimented by the traditional Victorian seafront. Visitors and residents will be able to experience our fast-developing independent retail offer that boasts an eclectic mix of boutiques, art galleries and artisan coffee, with the historic High Street providing a fascinating backdrop. We will also refresh our existing assets, developing the surrounding space with more leisure opportunities, dining and drinking experiences, and event programming which includes multi-arts experiences creating a vibrant, artisan feel to Lowestoft.

By reimagining our historic assets through the renovation and repurposing of buildings, and storytelling through a new public realm, we will encourage a healthier, active lifestyle. An active seafront will feature gym equipment along the promenade which can be used as part of a workout, or as a warmup or cooldown to the most easterly Park Run, which can be complemented by water-based activities such as paddle boarding or sailing, will help us tackle social isolation and improve overall fitness and confidence.

Cultural Quarter Concept

Cultural Quarter

The Cultural Quarter project will see the redevelopment of East Suffolk Council’s current Customer Services Centre and the former Battery Green multi-storey car park. 

The development will provide:  

  • A new cultural and community hub with studio space for creative businesses  
  • Competitive leisure complex 
  • Restaurant
  • Landscape enhancements

Working closely with East Suffolk Council, the design team comprising of Norwich-based architects Chaplin Farrant and Hemingway Design have developed designs in readiness for a planning application to be submitted. 

The aim of the project is to provide a vibrant hub with innovation and sustainability at its heart; offering leisure, dining and professional opportunities to support an emerging creative sector.

The funding will also aid improvement works to the Marina Theatre; a project being led by Lowestoft Town Council in partnership with the Marina Theatre Trust. 

View the plans for the project area here:
Cultural Quarter – Introduction
Cultural Quarter – Concept
Cultural Quarter – Restaurant and Flexible Space
Cultural Quarter – Community Hub
Cultural Quarter – Marina Centre
Cultural Quarter – Competitive Leisure
Cultural Quarter – Landscaping and Public Realm
Cultural Quarter – Architectural Identity

Click here to view the designs in Virtual Reality. (Please note this will open in a page external to this website)

Led by: East Suffolk Council
Partners: Chaplin Farrant
Cost: £24.3m (£14.3m HM Government Towns Fund, £10m ESC Capital Fund)
Timeframes: Subject to planning permission, demolition and build – Spring 2024 to Winter 2025, Buildings open – Spring 2026  

Station Quarter

Station Quarter is Lowestoft’s most important arrival space by rail, road and sea, and should therefore provide a welcoming experience that sets the tone for the rest of the town centre.

The continued decline of the town centre has been accelerated due to Covid-19. This project will build upon the recommendations set out within the Town Centre Masterplan, to repurpose the town centre and introduce uses away from traditional retail. The project will complement the Seafront Vision and Cultural Quarter as it provides key connectivity to both areas.

Improved public realm will provide a destination landing point and will encourage increased dwell time, increasing footfall and spend. The ambition is to grow and sustain an evening economy through enhanced leisure use and make the place more attractive to live and work.

Projects under the Station Quarter include:

Lowestoft Post Office Gallery

The former Post Office building in London Road North is located within the London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone and is a flagship project within the Town Investment Plan.

Having lain empty since 2018, the Grade II listed Post Office was purchased by the former Waveney District Council to boost regeneration in the town centre. Plans now seek to redevelop the old Post Office and auxiliary buildings into a multi-functional arts venue, known as Messums East, to help grow the creative industries, provide more cultural opportunities for local residents, and attract national and international artists to Lowestoft.

The arts space will be run by Messums, who are recognised for revitalising old buildings and embedding them within communities through artistic enterprise, and sculptor Laurence Edwards who began his art education in Lowestoft and subsequently developed an international reputation for large scale public works from his base in East Suffolk.

Exhibition spaces, screening room, education facilities, artists studios and a café/restaurant will be introduced, with Edward’s also working to create a large-scale bronze landmark sculpture for Lowestoft, casting it at his foundry in East Suffolk. He will work extensively with the local community from the new studio at the Post Office to see this realised.

Funded by Historic England and the Towns Fund, the award winning Phase 1 works have now been completed on the façade of the Grade II listed building through the Heritage Action Zone, including the cleaning, and repairing of stonework, structural repairs, replacement and repair of the roof and sash windows, new handrail and ramp, and the original position of the front door reinstated.

Led by: East Suffolk Council
Partners: Messums East, Historic England, Laurence Edwards
Cost: £4.8m
Timeframes: Phase 1 – completed | Phase 2 – Spring 2024 – Summer 2025

Former Refreshments Building, Lowestoft Railway Station

Lowestoft Central Railway Station resides in the centre of what was historically referred to as Peto Square, and more recently the Station Quarter. 

An end-of line station, it provides a direct rail service to Norwich and Ipswich, as well as access to London (via Ipswich), with circa 500,000 commuters each year using this station. The station buildings and platform have been refurbished over recent years, with East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership (CRP) transforming the former Parcels Office on the station’s north-eastern corner into a community and exhibition space in 2017.

The last building at the station to be regenerated is the Refreshments Building, which has stood derelict for the last 50 years. Feasibility studies undertaken by LDA Design and QuarterBridge Project Management Ltd identified that the building would be most suited to providing a food and beverage offer, aligned with the Local Plan for this area.  In response, East Suffolk Council commissioned Ipswich based architects, KLH Architects, to reimagine the building for present day use.

Led by: East Suffolk Council
Partners: Railway Heritage Trust, National Rail, KLH Architects
Cost: £1.7m
Timeframe: Summer 2024 – Spring 2025

Seafront Vision

Whilst the seafront is rightly considered the jewel in the town’s crown, it is in an area of deprivation including low household income, obesity, and poor health determinants. It is important to uplift this area to enhance the lives of our community and radically improve footfall and spend in order to grow the tourism economy.

In 2021, East Suffolk Council commissioned Jon Sheaff & Associates to create a masterplan for the seafront and London Road South which provides early design proposals for regeneration over the next ten years. The London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone and Seafront Masterplan, led by ESC’s Economic Regeneration team, is an initial concept proposal for how changes to public spaces and the urban environment can help regenerate South Lowestoft and Kirkley. The proposals include improved connections to the seafront with the shopfronts, providing more leisure and tourist offers to make the area more prosperous with the overall aim of improving experiences for visitors and residents. To find out more about the proposals for the seafront, please click  here.

The seafront falls within the boundary of the London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ), which provides a unique opportunity to enable the redevelopment of historic buildings and the creation of a cultural programme within this area.

Projects outlined under the Seafront Vision include:

Jubilee Parade Concept

Jubilee Parade

In early 2023, East Suffolk Council was awarded £4.3m from HM Government’s Levelling Up Fund, specifically for Jubilee Parade. The project is the third phase of the Jubilee Parade vision to be delivered. Earlier works to stabilise the cliff and contemporary new beach huts, Eastern Edge, have already been delivered. When works commence, they are expected to be undertaken in two stages to limit disruption and impact on local businesses, residents, and tourists during the summer season.

The project itself involves the demolition of the existing decaying 1930s structure, and will see the construction of a new, accessible two storey café complex and beach veranda accommodating:

  • A new indoor café/restaurant facility on the first floor, offering uninterrupted views of the sea with outdoor seating.
  • Three concession units on the ground floor
  • New toilets, showers, and a changing places facility (fully accessible toilet designed to provide sufficient space and equipment for people who are not able to use toilet facilities independently).
  • A lift and new staircase between the upper promenade and lower promenade to provide improved access to the seafront.

Additionally, improvements to the public realm will also be made including new lighting, beach front decking, and replacement of the cliff top wall. The designs have acknowledged the complex’s position within a Conservation Area and have taken inspiration from the heritage of the area to inform the contemporary design.

The project is being undertaken to improve the leisure offer for residents and visitors, and to improve footfall in the area. The existing structure sadly does not allow for the provision of modern facilities, and requires significant investment to improve the existing access, update the utilities, and safely process wastewater. We have explored the option of improving the existing facility, however due to the complexities of the required works, this was not a practical or economical option.

An important element of the project has required the undertaking of ground investigations, including cliff stability and utility surveys, which have determined that the new proposed complex is suitable.

We would like to reassure you that we are working closely with the existing operators, and with Waveney Disability Forum.

View the plans for the project area here:

View the FAQ here:

Led by: East Suffolk Council
Partners: Chaplin Farrant, Waveney Disability Forum
Cost: £4.9m (£4.3m HM Government Levelling Up Fund, £600k East Suffolk Council)
Timeframes: Subject to planning permission, Stage 1: Winter 2023 – Summer 2024 | Stage 2: Autumn 2024 – Summer 2025. Works will take place in two stages to limit disruption to local businesses, residents, and tourists during the summer season and First Light Festival.

Royal Plain and Royal Green

The Lowestoft Seafront Vision project will see East Suffolk Council bring forward plans to improve the area for residents, businesses, visitors, and community groups, to enhance the town as a place to live, work and visit.

Project area plans:
Seafront Vision Area Plan 2023
Royal Plain Plan 2023
Royal Green Plan 2023
Seafront Vision FAQ July 2023

Responding to key routes to and from surrounding spaces such as the bascule bridge, South Pier, Esplanade and Marine Parade, proposals for Royal Plain incorporate both hard and soft landscape features to help ‘frame’ the space and create a more enclosed and comfortable setting in which to spend time. and will see:

  • New fountain and mirror pool (this was one of the most requested features the community would like to see reinstated)
  • New benches and raised planters to the north and west.
  • Additional lighting
  • Improved surfacing within the East Point Pavilion courtyard garden to improve access and provide flexible events space, alongside new planting to create a more intimate space with improved shade and shelter.


The improvements to Royal Green draw inspiration from the beach, broads, harbour, and piers, and will see:

  • The existing brick walls along the esplanade removed.
  • Diverse soft landscape edges along the esplanade and the car park, inspired by coastal dunes, will see resilient trees, shrubs, coastal grasses, and flora planted.
  • New and refurbished bench seating combined with boulder groupings that relate to the boulders on the beach.
  • Exercise stations and improved seating areas are dotted along the length of the site.
  • New games area, aimed at older children and teenagers, together with a new bouldering facility (requested through consultation with students) beside the existing play area which was extended and enhanced in 2019.
  • New cycle hub to the north, encouraging active travel and providing space for e-bikes, bicycle parking, and a bike repair station.
  • Electric vehicle charging points introduced.

Led by: East Suffolk Council
Partners: Waveney Disability Forum

Credit: Malachy Luckie/EPP

East Point Pavilion

The iconic seafront venue reopened in June 2022, as the first project delivered by HM Government’s Towns Fund.

The East Point Pavilion, a Victorian-style glass pavilion situated on Royal Plain, is now a thriving cultural and community space for the town, and is the perfect spot to enjoy the Easterly sea view whilst tasting delicious food from an assortment of independent street food traders, alongside barista coffee, craft beer, wine and cocktails from our house bar and café.

Managed by the team behind First Light Festival, East Point Pavilion will also develop a trading space for small entrepreneurial ‘pop-up’ businesses, and curate a year-round cultural and community programme including live music, DJs and performances, artisan markets, community-led workshops, and seasonal and private hire events.

The venue now also has a changing places facility which contains equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers, to support severely disabled people.

To find out more, visit East Point Pavilion’s website.

Eastern Edge Beach Huts

Designed by Norwich-based architects Chaplin Farrant, the £2.6m project has created split level beach huts which have replaced the former Jubilee Chalets. During the project, vital works to strengthen the cliff also were undertaken.

The huts face partially south to ensure maximum sunshine throughout the day, with the tips of the structures will facing eastwards, reflecting Lowestoft’s position as the most easterly location in the country. A raised decking promenade has also been created to enable people to sit in front of the new huts without restricting access to those using the promenade. Ten of the most central huts have also be designed to be more easily accessible for wheelchairs and buggies.

Beach huts can be hired through Lowestoft Beach Hut Hire. The first phase of the project was completed in Summer 2022.

Beach Boardwalk & Wheelchair

A new boardwalk opened in June 2022 allowing people with disabilities and parents with pushchairs better access to the seafront. The boardwalk, created in collaboration with Waveney Disability Forum, is located near to public toilets, the beach access ramp and the Claremont car park and will provide year-round access to the beach.

The boardwalk is 1.5m wide and 54m long with a wider 6m by 8m space at the end which can be used for performances or events like fitness classes.


To further improve access to the beach, East Suffolk Council have also invested in two specially designed beach wheelchairs with large pneumatic wheels which can be used to help those with limited mobility access the sandy beach and shoreline at Lowestoft’s South Beach.

Booking in advance is required as these are popular. To enquire about availability and arrange to hire, please contact the Beach Office and we’ll ensure one is ready and waiting for you.

There is no charge for the use of a beach wheelchair.

Led by: East Suffolk Council
Partners: Waveney Disability Forum