Ribbon cutting celebrations were held on Exmouth seafront when Edge Watersports and the Hangtime Cafe opened at Sideshore, the new environmentally-friendly development.
Now all the main structural works are complete, the sustainable Queen’s Drive building is near completion and forging ahead with phased opening.
Michael Caines is set to open his restaurant and café – which includes a glass canopy with views of the coastline – at a later date.
Eric and Steph Bridge, owners of Edge Watersports, cut the ribbon and officially announced their new store – and leading watersports teaching hub – open.
The Hangtime Café, run by Olly Bridge and Megan Barnett, is also now open to visitors and passers-by.
Aiden Johnson-Hugill, Grenadier director, said: “Together we have built an exciting community hub where visitors can learn how to safely stand-up paddleboard, kitesurf, power kite, and sea swim.
“Sideshore will also help distinguish Exmouth as a leading watersports destination on the national and international stage.”
He added: “This project has always been about providing a place for the community and visitors to Sideshore to be able to learn a new sport, take part in fun activities that support well-being, and of course provide a relaxed place to sit, eat and drink the local produce on offer.”
Cllr Paul Hayward, East Devon District Council (EDDC) deputy leader and portfolio holder for economy and assets, said he was ‘delighted’ phased opening allowed for the safety and well-being of all visitors at what he called ‘this challenging time’.
He said EDDC had been in full support of the project from the start, adding: “This is a very positive event for the town.”
Cllr Hayward said: “The Sideshore development has always been intended to deliver a vibrant and exciting community hub for both Exmouth residents and visitors to this wonderful town.
“I am confident that everyone will want to take advantage of the sports and leisure facilities on offer, or grab a bite to eat, or simply just sit on the beach and watch the world go by.”
Sideshore is expected to reach an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A which the developers said was ‘ground-breaking’ for a commercial building of this type.
There is a focus on recycling facilities and ‘green leases’ at the environmentally-friendly building.
Tenants must agree to a ban on single-use plastics.
A spokesperson for the developer said: “Grenadier wants to push the boundaries of sustainability in order to deliver a project which not only benefits the community but also the wider environment.”
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