Healthy hospitality interest and Arches up for business leasing

The Arches on the seafront are available for business leasing

The Arches on the seafront are available for business leasing - Credit: Google Maps

Another well attended Chamber zoom breakfast meeting was devoted to allowing members to explain their business activities, writes chairman of Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce Richard Eley.
A number of local businesses took the opportunity, in entertaining in an informative fashion, to describe the ways in which their businesses operate; and in particular to explain how they were coping with the pandemic.
The mood in the meeting was quite upbeat, as speaker after speaker took an optimistic view about the prospects for their businesses, and how  they had used lockdown as an opportunity to refocus their activities.
Sidmouth, with its heavy dependence upon the hospitality industry, has been especially hit by the virus. So it was encouraging to see the efforts that have been made by so many local enterprises to look beyond the disruption of lockdown to a busier and more prosperous future.
Hospitality businesses report healthy levels of interest, and it looks like accommodation providers could enjoy an excellent summer if the weather is good and the virus is controlled.  There is no doubt that many people are contemplating a ‘staycation’ rather than travelling abroad.   
The Chamber is currently developing a Recovery Plan that will recommend a number of measures that could be pursued over the coming months to improve the overall offer of the town for both visitors and residents. The document will also be used as a template for any applications for government funding and support.

In other Sidmouth business news, a unique opportunity is now available for any one group or business interested in leasing the Arches (East) to submit their expression of interest and proposals to the Council.
Councillors have recently expressed a desire to make more effective use of the Arches (East) unit which currently houses the Jurassic Interpretation Centre. 
They are keen to hear from groups and/or individuals who could utilise the space for commercial and/or community-based activities. Councillors are particularly keen to receive proposals which could assist in helping to promote the town, reflecting the new Visit Sidmouth destination branding and the principles of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan.
Please visit  for an 'Expression of Interest' document
The Council invites interested parties to detail their interest by email by 5pm Friday March, 12, 2021 to Christopher Holland, Town Clerk at:
The Chamber also wishes to share with the Sidmouth business community an opportunity for business owners to hone their digital skills with social enterprise group Cosmic, which specialises in digital skills training, digital consultancy, IT technical support and website development. The group is offering a package of free training and business advice to retailers in Devon and Somerset (including Torbay and Plymouth).
With the high street and retailers so dramatically impacted by lockdowns and restrictions, Cosmic wants to support businesses looking to adapt to the circumstances and wanting to improve their sales opportunities.
Cosmic is offering a series of training workshops over the next six weeks, and is inviting all attendees to also receive a one-to-one action planning session with their advisors. All for free.
Each of the following 1.5hr events will be repeated three times, giving plenty of chance for people to attend:
Selling Online:
This workshop will guide you through setting up a successful online shop, establishing your online selling strategy, online customer service, payment options and the rules for online and distance selling.
Social Media for retail businesses:
Looking at how you become successful on social media: how to create a sustainable social media strategy; and how you can be sure customers will engage and interact with your business.
Digital Marketing Strategies for retail businesses:
Learn how to build a digital marketing plan to reach your customers, raise awareness, interest and create a desire to purchase your products.
Booking and further information is available on Eventbrite here:

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter