Rescue plans for the dilapidated Leas Pavilion are revealed.
Design plans for the complete restoration and redevelopment of the Grade II listed Leas Pavilion, in Folkestone, have been revealed at a Public Consultation.
The former purpose-built Edwardian tea rooms, later theatre, cafe and nightclub, which has fronted The Leas since 1902, has been deemed one of Kent’s most endangered historic buildings – ‘at risk of being lost forever’.
Working closely with our Client – Kantion, the Council and Historic England, our design proposals for the currently dilapidated site allows us to collaboratively restore the disused and abandoned Pavilion to its former beauty, evoke and honour its past memories and return it to the people of the Folkestone community.
In addition to the restoration of the Leas Pavilion our proposals for the scheme also include the construction of 90 residential units, associated parking, and a residents and community space for special events.
This high quality residential proposal enables the £4m restoration costs required to save the Leas Pavilion for the town.
We have also worked closely with The Friends of the Leas Pavilion, chaired by Liz Mulqueen – who have campaigned to save the Leas Pavilion, and the Victorian Society – represented by Griff Rhys Jones. Many celebrities including Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes, Sir Ian McKellen, comedian Vic Reeves, and EastEnders actress June Brown have also shown their unconditional support for the rescue plans.
Liz Mulqueen said: “I have met with the founders of Kantion several times and they have impressed me with their professionalism, expertise and transparency. The Friends of the Leas Pavilion have fought for many years now to have this building restored and brought back into community use. We have now identified a partner who shares the same passion. This is undoubtedly our best, and possibly our last chance to restore the building to its glory and grace of 1902.”
Griff Rhys Jones said: ‘I have closely followed the campaign to save the Leas Pavilion. I visited on a couple of occasions on behalf of the Victorian Society, to witness both its sad decline and the concerted attempts by the community to bring about its rescue. I know that we must not underestimate the value of this delightful heritage asset – The Leas Pavilion. It is part of the history of Folkestone. It is a little gem. Too much of the world of “seaside” has gone. The history of the emancipation of the working man, and the enlightened Victorian attitude that created Bank Holidays, paid vacations, and the demand for the glorious British resorts of Kent, has been swept away. This is a chance to save a great memento of that period. Much more than that, the careful preservation of these assets will greatly enhance any modern development, by retaining character and acting as a magnet for visitors. The current proposals seem such a good solution to me. And I think they deserve everybody’s support.”
Miriam Margolyes said: ‘I’m utterly thrilled to hear the Leas Pavilion will live again and provide beauty for the eye AND live entertainment as it did in my childhood. It’s one of the many glories of Folkestone. Bless it and all who made this happen.’
As local Architects, we are thrilled to have this unique opportunity to restore and secure this building’s future and celebrate its evocative past by retelling stories through its renovation of times when troops departed for France in World War 1. With our extensive knowledge of creating buildings in coastal towns, alongside Kantion’s expertise of developments on the Belgian coast, we will ensure the highest of quality materials for the building’s longevity and a sea view across the Leas promenade for every apartment – connecting each resident and the building with Folkestone’s greatest asset, the sea.