Areas said to have a powerful "sense of place" have a strong identity and character that is deeply felt by local inhabitants and by many visitors. Sense of place is a social phenomenon that exists independently of any one individual's perceptions and experiences, yet, paradoxically, is dependent on individual human engagement for its existence. Such an affinity may be derived from the natural environment, but is more often made up of a mix of natural and cultural features in the landscape, and generally includes the people who occupy, or have occupied, the place.
Lowestoft is a small coastal town at the extreme eastern projection of England into the North Sea. This coastal region is known as 'The Sunrise Coast'.
see a Google map
The current development of the town (2008) is linked strategically with that of its northern neighbour, and former commercial rival, Great Yarmouth. The following gives a summary of their economic assets, constraints and ambitions.
Assets and opportunities
  • attractive biodiversity, landscape and coastline providing major tourism opportunities
  • unique built heritage and history
  • emerging economic catalysts in Great Yarmouth, with EastPort and offshore renewable energy in Lowestoft supported by OrbisEnergy
  • a critical mass of regeneration opportunities with over 300 hectares of land available for redevelopment within the next ten years, including 26 kilometres of water frontage.
Constraints
  • road and rail connectivity to major markets and a perceived poor image reduce the attractiveness of both towns for new business investment
  • below average percentages of the population with NVQ4 or above qualifications and significant numbers with no formal qualifications at all
  • high levels of deprivation, with average earnings below both county and regional averages
  • inadequate supply of quality affordable housing
  • a need to manage issues of coastal and fluvial flooding effectively.
Strategic ambitions
  • expansion of the higher and further education offer through the existing colleges, with support from the University of East Anglia and University Campus Suffolk
  • development of the EastPort outer harbour to provide modern port facilities and major employment opportunities
  • improving the tourism offer and including development of a large casino and associated investment in high-quality hotel, entertainment and leisure facilities
  • delivery of major physical restructuring as set out in the 1st East area action plan.