As part of its budget setting process, East Suffolk Council has agreed a programme of capital expenditure, including a General Fund Capital Programme and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Capital Programme for new development and investment in existing housing stock, worth just over £339m for the next four years. 

The programme, which was approved at Full Council on Wednesday 26 January, outlines investment in line with the council’s key priorities, and for the benefit of local communities and businesses. 

It aims to maximise resources by actively seeking external funding and making efficient use of existing council assets.

Cllr Maurice Cook, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Resources said: “I am very pleased to be able to present such a comprehensive capital programme, investing in all areas of our district. The council tax payer is at the heart of all financial decisions, and so many of the projects not only provide new or improved facilities, but also develop more assets and income streams for the council in order that the reliance on council tax for providing vital services can be minimised.”

Within the programme, over £118m has been allocated for planning and coastal management projects over the next four years, with a further £36.86m for economic development and regeneration schemes.

Some of the major projects to receive investment within this period include:

•             £96m for permanent flood defences to protect homes and businesses in Lowestoft

•             £50m for the Felixstowe North Garden Neighbourhood Regeneration Project, including a total of £44m to provide a new leisure centre and associated infrastructure

•             £14.2m for the enhancement of Southwold Harbour and Caravan Park (subject to external funding)

•             £6.4m on creating start up units for local businesses in Lowestoft

•             £5.75m for the development of the South Seafront area and Martello Café, in Felixstowe

•             £3.3m for Thorpeness flood defences (subject to external funding)

•             £0.69m for Thorpeness emergency flood defence works 

Projects already allocated funding from this year’s budget include the replacement of beach huts in Lowestoft (£1m), the purchase of land to extend cemetery provision across the district (£395,000) and the development of sports hubs in Felixstowe (£197,000).