A £3m investment into a new watersports centre in Ilfracombe has taken another step forward as North Devon Council awards a construction firm the contract to build the project.
After a successful tender process, Pearce Construction have been contracted by the council to take on the build, which is set to be a state-of-the-art marine leisure hub.
The watersports centre will include community facilities for local clubs including storage for boats, a slipway providing safe and easy access to the water within a given tidal range, disabled access and facilities, and a café with stunning views of the harbour.
Initial building works will start on site in early April, with major works commencing in June. This will involve construction of a new sea wall eight metres beyond the existing one.
Local residents will shortly receive additional information on the construction process and the need for the site to be secured during the main part of the works, which will include the temporary closure of the existing slipway.
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The centre’s primary purpose is to provide new homes for three local watersports clubs, Ilfracombe Gig Club, Y-Sail and Ilfracombe Canoe Club.
This new facility will allow them to extend their memberships to the wider community and offer taster events to local residents and visitors.
Another important aim is to provide a site which can be used by the wider community, enabling the public and organised groups to pre-book watersports activities through a new Commercial Watersports Communications Hub.
The hub will enable local businesses with links to watersports to be part of the centre, offering use of the slipway, storage, shower and welfare facilities, as well as designated trailer parking and interactive advertising/booking facilities -either as part of the Larkstone site or within the wider northern Devon community.
Jon Triggs, head of Resources at North Devon Council said: “We are proud to be significantly investing in Ilfracombe and once completed the watersports centre will be a real investment and asset for Ilfracombe as well as a much-needed boost for the North Devon economy and tourism.
“We’re so lucky here in North Devon to be surrounded by fantastic coastline, so the new centre will be a real opportunity for both our residents and tourists to get out there and experience this from the water.”