With new arts venues, pubs and restaurants, fancy beach huts and a restored pier, the UK’s most easterly town is getting its mojo back
‘It’s about trying to get people to think about Lowestoft in a different way: to look at the beautiful beach as part of the fantastic east coast and not as the end of the line, or a place that has lost industry. It’s actually got a lot of potential.” Genevieve Christie is passionate about the UK’s easternmost town – what she calls “the most unsung location in Suffolk”. As CEO of the First Light festival (17-18 June), a free annual beachside event celebrating midsummer, she and her team also run the live music, film nights and performances at the new seafront East Point Pavilion, where we now sit eating burritos.
Spruced up and reopened last summer by HemingwayDesign, the faux Victorian structure – actually built in 1993 – is the initial, very prominent beneficiary of Lowestoft’s recently secured £24.9m levelling up Towns Fund. Once home to a soft play area and tourist office, it now buzzes with streetfood stalls, artisan coffee and craft beer. “People held this building in great affection,” she says. “And it’s become a real hub, with hundreds of families enjoying this space.”