FIRST LOOK: Rockfish reveals £1million vision for Sidmouth Drill Hall – and up to 40 jobs could be created

A seafood restaurant group has today revealed its £1million vision for Sidmouth’s historic seafront Drill Hall –  which could create up to 40 jobs.

Rockfish has formally submitted a planning application to turn the long-vacant premises on The Esplanade into an eatery.

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks says he hopes to make the venue a ‘leading seafood destination and community asset’.

His firm was named as the preferred bidder in a recent tender scheme which invited bids from businesses and the community.

Rockfish says designs by Exeter-based Grainge Architects ‘retain the key features of the building’ – adding a balcony overlooking the sea.

Sidmouth Drill Hall

Sidmouth Drill Hall.

Openings will also be created in the east-facing elevation ‘to bring in light and allow spectacular views of the coastline’.

The exterior of the building Is designed ‘to look like a working fishing building that is sympathetic’ with the neighbouring sailing club, lifeboat station and trawler agents, said the firm.

The Drill Hall’s interior features will be ‘retained and enhanced’ as part of the scheme by leading designers Macaulay Sinclair.

Investment into the Sidmouth Drill Hall project will be in excess of £1m and there will be the creation of 30-40 local jobs, according to Rockfish.

Mitch Tonks said: “The Drill Hall is a unique site that has been empty for a long time; it has the most unique features that we are looking to retain and enhance as part of our scheme, so we can bring the building back to its former glory.

“Sidmouth is a wonderful seaside town that fits our ethos of fresh fish being eaten by the sea and, if our application is successful, we are very much looking forward to making Rockfish Sidmouth a leading seafood destination and a community asset.”

The Rockfish Sidmouth Drill Hall restaurant would operate in the same successful formula as the firm’s other eateries in Dartmouth, Plymouth, Torquay, Exmouth, Plymouth, Weymouth and Exeter.

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