Future of Lowestoft Hospital revealed with plans to open centre by Christmas
PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 September 2019 | UPDATED: 07:29 06 September 2019
Building work is set to start in the coming weeks as part of a former hospital site is transformed into a new day centre.
After Lowestoft Hospital closed in 2016, the Tennyson Road site sold at auction in October last year for £475,000.
And now, almost a year on, a Lowestoft-based charity has unveiled plans for "a really positive project" for the town centre and part of the former hospital site.
Brainwave Independence Group - which supports people with brain injury and disabilities - will unveil a new day centre on Tennyson Road.
Named 'The Point', the centre will offer support to those with brain injury and their care support network. It will also become the administrative hub of the charity.
Established four years ago, they raise funds for people with brain injury to raise awareness of hidden disabilities - and a spokesman said they are now ready for the "next important phase in the continued growth of the charity."
Having taken on the lease for the first floor of the "whole length of the Tennyson Road site," The Point will offer a wide range of activities
Howard Thomas, director of Brainwave Independence Group, said: "Within the past couple of years we have been looking into finding a new building - a new venture.
"It is quite a big venture, but we fully expect to be up-and-running by Christmas."
Having met the hospital site owner Daniel Shreeve, of Lowestoft-based Shreeve Commercial Ltd, and toured the building, Mr Thomas said: "It was terrific.
"Mr Shreeve was really excited by our plans and it all fell into place fairly quickly."
With the aim of opening the day centre in December, among the facilities available will be an arts room, a woodwork site, café, kitchen, a music room, quiet rooms and treatment rooms.
These will allow service users to come along and get inspired in group classes and workshops or simply relax in a space of their own.
With a reception area, a meeting room and an office providing advocacy to clients and their carers, a small but dedicated team will also manage and administer the charity.
Mr Thomas added: "Its an amazing facility.
"The Point will provide a much needed venue in these challenging times, for those who really do need it."
With further developments expected to be announced for the rest of the building, it is understood that there is "active interest" in the remaining hospital site buildings.
Helen De Block, projects administrator for the charity, added: "It is really exciting.
"The centre will provide a welcoming, vibrant and stimulating environment for stakeholders, carers and family members alike."
Aims of The Point
The centre aims to help provide people with brain injury and related disability to live a fulfilling and as normal a life as possible and be accepted as part of the community.
In the adjacent building there will be a donations drop-off centre and a second shop processing all of those unwanted clothes and items into funding to support the centre's activities.
The Adnams Community Trust has kindly provided a grant to purchase a range cooker, which will be used to teach life skills and baking, and the charity hopes to acquire a minibus for clients.
Hughes Electrical has kindly offered to donate items to the centre to fit out the kitchen. A spokesman for the Brainwave Independence Group added: "Opening in December, with a launch event planned in November, the centre will be showcased with further details and information for local businesses about how to get involved in supporting this exciting new venture."