Lowestoft () is an English North Sea coast town and civil parish in the county of Suffolk. On the edge of The Broads, it is the most easterly UK settlement, 110 miles (177 km) north-east of London, 38 miles (61 km) north-east of Ipswich and 22 miles (35 km) south-east of Norwich. The main town in the district of East Suffolk, it has an estimated population of over 70,000 in the built-up area. The port town developed out of the fishing industry and as a seaside resort with wide sandy beaches. As its fisheries declined, oil and gas exploitation in the southern North Sea in the 1960s added to its development. These roles have declined, but Lowestoft is developing as a regional centre of the renewable energy industry.