Here to stay – three year extension for popular business after public outcry

Maddie Todd, Guy Russell, Livi Mclennan and Josh Roberts at Jurassic Paddle Sports pictured in 2018.

Maddie Todd, Guy Russell, Livi Mclennan and Josh Roberts at Jurassic Paddle Sports pictured in 2018. - Credit: Archant

A popular Sidmouth business has landed a three year extension after earlier concerns its future was on ‘rocky ground’.

Jurassic Paddle Sports will be based on Sidmouth seafront until 2022 after coming to an agreement with East Devon District Council.

Public outrage ensured after the business said it would have to make 'some changes' if the business was to continue following complaints.

Owner Guy Russell shared with customers on Facebook on Friday (October 25) the business was trying to secure a new deal with the council.

The Sidmouth community rallied to the business's side with more than a 1,000 people signing a petition urging the council to reconsider.

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The businessman said the insurance rate would also double.

An East Devon District Council spokesman said: "We are firm supporters of this business particularly as it brings trade to the town from local people and tourists.

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"The concession fee has increased and this is in line with similar concessions across the district.

"To reflect the nature of the beach activity, the business needs public liability insurance to protect their customers and themselves.

"The council's insurers have advised us of a reasonable amount of insurance cover that the business needs and it is up to the owner to make sure that this is in place.

"We have offered to talk with the concession holder about the signage, equipment and storage facilities on the beach and are happy to continue to do so."

Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce contacted the town's district councillors about the issue to give its support to the business.

The spokesman said: "A lot of people were rightly outraged at the treatment given to Guy Russell and his team. Jurassic Paddles is a well-run and community-minded business, and has quickly become a popular part of our tourism offer.

"The local authority has clearly listened to the cries of protest that have accompanied the situation, and seem to have acted with admirable speed and flexibility in response.

"Well done to everyone in Sidmouth for letting EDDC know how we felt."

Public outcry as popular Sidmouth business's future on 'rocky ground'

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