Lowestoft is an English town and civil parish in the county of Suffolk. The town, on the North Sea coast, is the most easterly settlement of the United Kingdom. It is 110 mi north-east of London, 38 mi north-east of Ipswich and 22 mi south-east of Norwich. It lies on the edge of The Broads and is the main settlement in the district of East Suffolk, with a population of 71,010 in 2011. Some of the earliest evidence of settlement in Britain was found here. A port town, it developed out of the fishing industry and as a seaside resort with wide, sandy beaches, two piers and other attractions. As its fisheries declined, oil and gas exploitation in the southern North Sea in the 1960s added to its development, alongside nearby Great Yarmouth. This role has declined, but it has begun to develop as a regional centre of the renewable energy industry.