Heritage leaders have hailed the vision that will see a prominent "landmark" building in Lowestoft revitalised.

With the Lowestoft Town Hall project given a major boost this week with the award of £3.4m in National Lottery Heritage Funding, it means a scheme to bring the empty building back into public use is now closer to reality.

As plans to revitalise the Town Hall in Lowestoft were lodged with East Suffolk Council in May and are currently "awaiting decision", this funding boost will benefit the "restoration and extension" of the historic town hall site.

Having been vacant and unoccupied since spring 2015, the landmark building has been owned by Lowestoft Town Council (LTC) since 2017.

After securing second stage funding support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for developing the Town Hall, the town council said it will "play a pivotal role in revitalising the iconic building."

Lowestoft Journal: The vision for Lowestoft town hall. Picture: HAT ProjectsThe vision for Lowestoft town hall. Picture: HAT Projects (Image: HAT Projects)

In recognising the project, led by Lowestoft Town Council, and its aim to make a "significant cultural, community, and economic contribution to Lowestoft", this latest funding, alongside additional funding from Historic England, The Architectural Heritage Fund, and Towns Fund, will "assist the town council to progress its plans to renovate the Town Hall."

This will include provision for an innovative heritage hub, gallery space with a changing programme of exhibitions and events, wedding and reception venue with catering facilities, co-working space for sole traders and small businesses, a café, and additional community event space.

The Town Hall will also become the home for the town council, with council meetings and staff offices.

With this funding now in place, work on the building is set to begin in March 2024 with the Town Hall reopening in late Summer 2025.

Other significant funders for the regeneration include Historic England, The Architectural Heritage Fund, Towns Fund and East Suffolk Council.


Eilish McGuinness, chief executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: "I’m thrilled that we have been able to provide significant support to this project.

"Saving heritage is core to what we do, and we look forward to seeing Lowestoft Town Council delivering a transformational project for the Town Hall."

Lowestoft Journal: Councillor Toby Hammond. Picture: East Suffolk CouncilCouncillor Toby Hammond. Picture: East Suffolk Council (Image: East Suffolk Council)

Toby Hammond, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for economic development and transport, said: "As a partner in the Town Hall project, we are delighted that this significant funding has been secured.

"East Suffolk Council is committed to improving Lowestoft and the refurbishment of the Town Hall is one of five transformational regeneration projects which received a share of the £24.9 million Towns Fund last year."

Tony Calladine, Historic England Regional Director, said: "This is fantastic news.

"It’s wonderful to see the vision for Lowestoft Town Hall being realised.

"This important local landmark has played a pivotal role in local life for so many years and thanks to such a collaborative effort, and the enthusiasm of local people, it will once again be at the vibrant heart of the community."