Hundreds sign petition calling for nightclub at Sidmouth's Drill Hall, after shock closure

PUBLISHED: 18:00 09 March 2018

Carinas Nite Club. Ref shs 04-18TI 6549. Picture: Terry Ife

Carinas Nite Club. Ref shs 04-18TI 6549. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

More than a thousand people have signed a petition calling for the Drill Hall to become a nightclub, following the shock closure of Carinas.

P7861-10-09SH The drill hall at Port Royal, Sidmouth.
Picture by Simon Horn.P7861-10-09SH The drill hall at Port Royal, Sidmouth. Picture by Simon Horn.

Dale Coleman launched an online campaign to rally the support of the community on February 24.

The 27-year-old said the three-storey seafront venue was an obvious replacement candidate, which could also be used as a community hub in the daytime.

He said Sidmouth did not need a three-storey club but the basement level would be an ideal space for one and in the daytime the lower level could be used by community groups and for events like FolkWeek.

Dale said the upper floors could then be used as a bar and restaurant, a children’s recreation area or storage space.

Images showing the interior of the Drill Hall. Sidmouth HeraldImages showing the interior of the Drill Hall. Sidmouth Herald

“The Drill Hall site is in an ideal position for a central gathering place,” he said.

“It is also in an area with minimal residency. It gives younger people in Sidmouth a place to gather so they don’t have to travel to Exmouth or Exeter without a way home.

“I feel there is an opportunity for businesses to create a complete hub on Sidmouth’s seafront, which will be attractive for the entire Sidmouth population, while also becoming a solution for the disused historic building.”

Speaking to the Herald, Dale said: “I was shocked at how many people got on board with the idea. It has been a snowball affect and it is incredible.

“There are around 15,000 people in Sidmouth so it would be nice if we could get 1,000 signatures – that would be a good percentage.”

East Devon District Council plans to invite investors, interested in redeveloping the Drill Hall site, to come forward. It will be marketed for six months, allowing for both commercial and non-commercial bids.

Dale said: “If someone was to buy the Drill Hall site and bring it back to life, hopefully this petition will show them there’s a market for such a hub”

Councillor Cathy Gardner said she realised it was a business but added: “The town is not well supplied with facilities for younger people and the closure of the only nightclub is a loss.

“We await news on the future use of the Drill Hall which has the opportunity to house a wide range of functions.”

To sign the petition, visit change.org/p/create-a-real-hub-for-the-entire-community-on-sidmouth-seafront

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