£20k Sidmouth tourism hub to be 'open in May'

PUBLISHED: 12:55 26 April 2011

FLASHBACK: Shelter on The Esplanade once looked like this.

FLASHBACK: Shelter on The Esplanade once looked like this.

Archant

A £20,000 bid to transform a once derelict Sidmouth seafront shelter into a tourism hub could become a reality in just a month's time.

A £20,000 bid to transform a once derelict Sidmouth seafront shelter into a tourism hub could become a reality in a little more than a month’s time.

The brains behind plans for a high-tech ‘interpretation centre’ on The Esplanade hope to open the venue in late May.

The proposed facility will showcase ‘a flavour’ of Sidmouth’s heritage and attractions, as well as the Jurassic Coast, and provide a welcome and initial information to visitors.

Project manager Martin Cooke has been working with Sidmouth Town Council on the project since Christmas.

“The centre will offer initial orientation, particularly to visitors, encouraging them to explore and find out more,” he said.

There will be free entry and the venue will be predominantly unmanned when it is open during day-time hours.

Thousands of pounds will be spent on items like 3D technical designs, interactive screens, paintings and maps.

Visitors will be encouraged to move on to other attractions like the town museum.

Delighted Sidmouth Town Council chairman, Councillor Peter Sullivan, said: “There was a time when we first got these shelters that we really didn’t know what we were going to do with them.”

Excited councillors got a sneak peak of plans last month and declared: “It’s only small, but for us it’s extremely exciting.”

They said the shelter, once ‘used as a urinal’, will now become something “wonderful” and will be the “showcase of Sidmouth.”

The project has £20,000 of confirmed funding.

Work on the bid continues. Anyone interested in helping progress the project can contact Sidmouth Town Council on (01395) 512425.

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