East Suffolk Council and Historic England are inviting local people and visitors to ‘Celebration Saturday’, a free event to mark the completion of a 3.5 year project to rejuvenate South Lowestoft. 

The event, organised by Magnus PR takes place on March 23 from 10am-3pm on London Road South and Waterloo Road

Activities on offer will include virtual reality experiences of historic Lowestoft, facepainting, exhibitions, Victorian stilt walkers, a children's dress up station and two historic hour-long tours with Ivan Bunn - spaces can be booked at Well Well Well on Waterloo Road.

East Anglian Daily Times: Come and Enjoy Celebration Saturday on March 23 in LowestoftCome and Enjoy Celebration Saturday on March 23 in Lowestoft (Image: Heritage England)

The London Road Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone project promoting heritage-led regeneration, has been funded by Historic England and East Suffolk Council, delivered in partnership with Lowestoft Vision, Lowestoft Town Council, East Suffolk Building Preservation Trust and the local community.

The idea was to make the South Lowestoft and Kirkley area a vibrant place to live, work and visit.

East Anglian Daily Times: Lowestoft Post Office building before restorationLowestoft Post Office building before restoration (Image: Heritage England)

Historic buildings have been restored, public spaces improved and better connections to other parts of the town created, combined with a programme of cultural and community events to bring people back to the London Road area.

East Anglian Daily Times: Lowestoft Post Office after restorationLowestoft Post Office after restoration (Image: Heritage England)

The Heritage Action Zone has invested in 25 historic commercial properties across South Lowestoft and Kirkley, including the Grade II listed former Post Office, the former Cooks’ unit, the Royal Court hotel and the former Tuttles department store.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Rpyal Court hotel before restorationThe Rpyal Court hotel before restoration (Image: Heritage England)

East Anglian Daily Times: Royal Court hotel after restorationRoyal Court hotel after restoration (Image: Heritage England)

The programme of cultural and community activities has engaged with over 30,000 people, including 2,000 schoolchildren.

These included First Light Festival, a carnival parade led by Sol, Lowestoft's host puppet, and attended by a giant curious fox called Farrah.

Other cultural highlights included Mind the Gap, a community performance to mark the 175th anniversary of Lowestoft railway station and Norah's Ark, a new drama by Lowestoft playwright, John Hales, marking the 70th anniversary of the 1953 flood at the Marina Theatre.

Tony Calladine, East of England Regional Director, Historic England, said: “It’s wonderful to see the restored shop fronts and attractive public areas. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for Lowestoft.”

Cllr Toby Hammond, East Suffolk's cabinet member for Economic Development and Transport, said: “We’re excited to celebrate completion of the London Road Lowestoft Heritage Action Zone. We’ve seen the town’s rich history brought to life. It’s great to see what can be achieved by working together with a common goal.”

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, added: “London Road South is an historic thoroughfare and its regeneration is vital to the town’s future. We must now strive to ensure that their efforts leave an enduring legacy.”