Work starts this week to transform derelict changing rooms on Plymouth’s waterfront as part of a push to get more people to enjoy one of Britain’s Ocean City best assets.
Edwardian bathing facilities to the east of Tinside Lido are being turned into a store for kayaks and paddleboards, ahead of an enterprise running the venture.
Planning consent has been granted to install two concrete ramps, repaint existing handrails, repaint or replace boarding to windows and doors of the building and create a new level access to the top step for two archways. The work is being made possible through a Coastal Communities Revival Funding grant worth £50,000.
Councillor Glenn Jordan, Cabinet Member for Culture said: “I’m delighted this is going to now happen. Everyone always says we should make more of our incredible waterfront and this project has the potential to bring both locals and visitors to the water’s edge and bring an empty and historic building back to life.”
Chris Arscott, Chair of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership (PWP) Business Improvement District (BID) said: “We have a spectacular waterfront and are keen to provide more opportunities for both local residents and visitors to safely access the water.
“This is another success of our PWP Waterfront BID working in close partnership with Plymouth City Council to secure grants and investments for the city. There are some great ideas coming forward but sometimes a bit of work is needed upfront to entice people and businesses to take the plunge and set up here. We’re looking forward to seeing more people enjoy this great spot.”
The Council and the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership BID have together lobbied the Government for four years to secure investment in the waterfront. This is the latest in a series of successful funding applications, including investments for the Mount Batten Tower and the Barbican and Royal William Yard cycle hire units.
Since winning the grant, the Council has put together a detailed project plan, ensuring the scheme has planning consent and procuring contractors, who are expected to take two weeks to complete the job.
The changing rooms were built into the cliff face and there are a number of steps down to the sea.
Only last month, the Council and Plymouth Waterfront Partnership unveiled their Waterfront Masterplan, as part of the Joint Local Plan consultation, which called for more water sports to be made available on the Foreshore and for uses to be found for some of the redundant buildings.
The Council is currently finalising details of the business due to run from the unit, which will be revealed in the next few weeks.