A watch tower overlooking Plymouth Sound is getting a new lease of life, thanks to an exciting, award-winning scheme to entice entrepreneurs with cracking ideas.
The ‘Liner Lookout’ stands on Plymouth’s world-famous Hoe and is one of a number of sites in the city centre and on Plymouth’s stunning waterfront being marketed for use under the Plymouth Your Space project.
Plymouth businessman Dave Morrish has worked with the Plymouth Your Space team to agree a short-term lease on the lookout for the next five years for deck chair hire, free games as well as refreshments.
He said: “We wanted to turn this quirky building into somewhere for local people, dog walkers and tourists to get something to eat and enjoy the amazing views.
“There’s nothing better than sitting on the world famous Hoe in a deck chair and looking out to sea. We want to hire out deck chairs as well as giant grass games for children. Every step of the way has been met with enthusiasm and support from the Council.”
Plymouth Your Space opens up opportunities for people to use space in the city in different ways, while not having to commit to long term lease arrangements. Ideas could include pop-up shops, art exhibitions, temporary cinemas, outside dance events, floating restaurants and cafes. It could also include temporary salons or bike repairs – there are no limits to the ideas.
The Plymouth Your Space project was recognised as a national exemplar earlier this year when it won the Association of Town & Centre Management’s Diversifying the Business Mix award.
The Council worked with partners to focus in the Business Improvement District areas, working with Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, Plymouth City Centre Company, Plymouth University and City College Plymouth to identify 20 sites including:
• the hard-standing terrace on the water’s edge at Pebblestone Beach
• space beneath El café on the water’s edge beneath Hoe Road
• the Lion’s Den – a former ‘gentlemen’s bathing area’ on the waterfront
• the roof and sun terrace of Tinside Lido
• empty city centre units, including along Cornwall Street
Council Leader Tudor Evans said: “I’m chuffed to bits to see this building come back to life. It’s a lovely building and its new use will help bring people up onto the Hoe.”’
Chris Arscott, Chair of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership said “It’s a simple concept but is important in terms of regeneration and job creation, key to opening up buildings long vacant, breathing new life into strategically important areas.”
A number of sites have successfully been brought back to life such as Rumpuscosy in an empty city centre shop on Derry’s Cross, and Flameworks ran in a city centre shop for the past two Christmas periods.
The Line Lookout is a small stone building which looks like a miniature castle turret and was built in the 1870s as a lookout for the big ships that called into the busy port of Plymouth. It has been boarded up for at least 20 years.