Watersports centre developer weighs in on delayed plans for Exmouth seafront

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 March 2020

Sideshore which is set to open this summer. Picture: Daniel WIlkins

Sideshore which is set to open this summer. Picture: Daniel WIlkins

Archant

Watersports Centre bosses have thrown their support behind delayed plans for an 80-room hotel and a two-storey restaurant for the seafront.

The Sideshore watersports facility, which was phase two of the Queen’s Drive regeneration project, is set to be completed in time for the summer.

After the completion of phase one – the realignment of the seafront road and car park – that leaves just phase three undeveloped.

District council leaders were hopeful of finding a developer/operator in the next three months, but scrutiny councillors have asked for a rethink on the composition of the select committee.

Aiden Johnson-Hugill, director of Grenadier, which is building the Sideshore watersports centre, said you ‘won’t win everyone over’ with the phase three plans.

He said: “Part of the drive is to encourage visitors from further afield and to stay longer, and the hotel offer is critical for that. To have something that can also attract people looking for a more boutique offer would be ideal.

“The food and beverage offer will create around 60 jobs and some will be high grade training positions, and the watersports centre will offer coaching, so it is creating an economic case as well as one to support tourism.

“There will still be some objectors, but I hope and pray they come and see what it is like.”

He said Grenadier is still aiming for practical completion of Sideshore in June or July.

Mr Johnson-Hugill said: “We are targeting being open for the summer holidays. It’s a bit like Christmas, you can’t miss it.”

Sideshore will be run by Edge Watersports, a team with Olympic prospects and multiple world champion titles between them, and Mr Johnson-Hugill said they were confident that all the remaining units would be let in time for the opening.

As well as the watersports centre, Sideshore will also be home to dining facilities run by local and renowned award-winning celebrity chef, Michael Caines.

Mr Johnson-Hugill said they are in discussions and about to agree terms with a high brand clothing retailer for one of the units and that they are in advanced discussions with a well known cycle operator to take another other unit.


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