New £1million beachside cafe getting closer?
PUBLISHED: 13:30 07 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:30 07 July 2019
Plaice Design Co
A search has been launched to find an operator for a controversial beachside café/restaurant to be built as part of a multi-million pound seafront regeneration project at Felixstowe.
East Suffolk Council and its agents Fleurets believe the exciting design and location for the venture at Felixstowe's Martello Park at the end of Sea Road will bring interest nationwide from companies and individuals wanting to take it on.
Planning permission has already been agreed for the café/restaurant, which is to be funded from a recent £950,000 grant from the Coastal Communities Fund.
However, the project has provoked a bit of controversy - with some community leaders believing the grant money would be spent on an exciting and much-needed project to improve the neglected gardens in Sea Road with varied attractions for families and visitors.
Documents about the grant application and presentations on the project said the money would be used to create a series of 'rooms' and outdoor areas, a concept which would divide them into a run of very different areas with different characters and functions.
These could include a place to play, a dune garden to lounge and rest in, a place to meet, formal gardens, a play, landscape and sculpture garden for families, a 'parklet' picnic area, and an artisan street featuring pop-up shops and eating places, possibly housed in converted shipping containers.
However, it now transpires that this will be a later phase of the project - and the Government grant will go to the cafe instead.
Construction of the 3,800 sq ft café/restaurant is proposed to start later this year. It will have panoramic sea views and will also offer outdoor dining as well as community meeting space.
Leisure property specialist Fleurets is marketing the restaurant opportunity, seeking rental offers.
Simon Jackaman, divisional director at Fleurets, said: "The design and concept of this opportunity is very impressive. This part of Felixstowe has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years and is a popular part of the town, with nearby attractions, such as Landguard Fort, that bring many visitors to this end of the town.
"I fully expect that there will be interest from across the UK, from both corporate and independent operators."
The perspective operator will also have the opportunity to contribute towards both the internal layout and design, with the property expected to be completed by spring 2021.
East Suffolk deputy leader Craig Rivett said: "This is an exciting opportunity for an operator to come in and play an active part in the resurgence of Felixstowe.
"There is a real buzz about the town, with visitor numbers booming, supported by the on-going multi-million pound package of improvements.
"This is one of those rare occasions where the Council is the developer.
"East Suffolk Council is committed to building on the growing confidence in Felixstowe to create developments that benefit local people and visitors alike."