Owl takes a look at EDDC first attempt at regenerating Exmouth and the cost to ratepayers

Does EDDC ever learn lessons from the past? Many of their decisions don’t seem to stand up to the the test of time.

Owl has just received this from a correspondent:

“EDDC officers paid full asking price for a building that’s been on the market for three years. The white elephant known as the Ocean in Exmouth. £2.7 m wasted to save the bacon of LED the tenant. We already prop up LED with £1.5m borrowing. All with our money.”

The long, sorry, back-story

The Bowling Alley (now the Ocean) was considered, at the beginning of the century, to be the single “Iconic” building that would regenerate Exmouth, rather in the way that the Tate regenerated St Ives. It gained initial planning approval in 2002. But Its construction was dogged by the need subsequently to submit 16 revised plans. During construction the site went on hold for a couple of years so that a court case concerning faulty design aspects could be resolved.

So – 25 June 2013  “Spectacular top-floor bowling alley venue on the way”

Exmouth’s seafront bowling alley is set to create up to 40 new jobs when its new wedding and events venue opens this summer.

Sean Keywood   www.exmouthjournal.co.uk 

Workers are currently putting the finishing touches to the Ocean Blue suite, located on the top floor of the Coast complex on the Esplanade.

As well as a large main function room with a permanent stage and bar area, there are also large roof terraces, with weatherproof speakers, enabling guests to gaze out across the seafront.

The venue will also be obtaining a marriage licence, allowing it to host the whole wedding day, and there will be a bride suite and groom suite provided for the wedding couple to get ready.

Coast is setting up its own wedding service to operate from the venue, and proprietor Isaac Robb says the opening of the new facilities – which will also host other events – is good news for the town.

He said: “It’s a really exciting thing, not just for us but for the whole of Exmouth. We want everybody that has functions or events to come and look at the room.

“We think it’ll sell itself by the views it has. Everybody who sees it just gasps.”

Just by word of mouth, the Ocean Blue suite already has five events booked ahead of its August opening, including a charity casino night in December, and Isaac says he is lining up a “very big musical act” to perform next summer.

As part of the new operation, Coast needs to recruit 30 to 40 staff, ranging from a master of ceremonies, events managers and wedding planners, to chefs, bar and waiting staff.

These jobs will add to the 30 already created at Coast since the ground-floor bowling operation opened at the start of the year.

Anyone interested in applying for the new roles should send their CV to Coast by post.

However, within a couple of years EDDC were having to engineer a take-over.

10 June 2015 LED take over lease of Exmouth sea front facility

The lease of the Ocean bowling and restaurant complex in Esplanade has been taken over by LED Leisure Management.

Daniel Wilkins www.exmouthjournal.co.uk  10 June 2015

LED has announced they will be running the sea front entertainment facility with immediate effect.

The complex will continue to offer 12 lanes of bowling, plus a Bar and Grill and Sega Entertainment Centre, on the ground floor.

Later this month a new soft play area is due to open once the fit-out and staff training is completed.

Ocean will also continue to offer a venue for weddings, conferences and other events.

Councillor Andrew Moulding, chairman of Exmouth Regeneration Programme, said: “This is fantastic news for everyone who lives in Exmouth or who comes to the resort for holidays or leisure.

“This is already a wonderful facility in a prime position on the seafront. With LED management, their ideas and marketing expertise, it promises to be a very popular all-weather attraction for families as well as a place for parties, celebrations and meetings of all kinds.

“I look forward to seeing it go from strength to strength in the coming months and years.”

Now in 2020 you the rate payers appear to have bought it outright

One thought on “Owl takes a look at EDDC first attempt at regenerating Exmouth and the cost to ratepayers

  1. Pingback: District council completes £2.7m purchase of Ocean | East Devon Watch

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