A new water sports centre and café could be built in Porthcawl

A new water sports centre and integrated cafe is being touted for Porthcawl’s Rest Bay.

It’s one of a number of new developments in the town with a new coffee shop, pizzeria and restaurant also giving a former derelict building a “new lease of life”.

Coffee shop Coffi Co Lounge opened its doors last month in the newly-transformed Jennings Building on Porthcawl seafront – with a pizzeria and a restaurant set to follow.

The company are also going to be serving from the former Customs House building, between the Jennings Building and the Old Pilot’s Lookout Tower.

The shop will be joined by the 5,000 sq ft Harbour Bar Grill, which will be a theatre-style kitchen bar and restaurant complete with a full-height atrium, while Double Zero Pizzas will occupy a third ground-floor unit.

The revamped Jennings Building
(Image: Bridgend County Borough Council)

The upper level of the building will also feature 13 ‘live-work’ units with loft bedrooms that will enable occupants to live and work on site.

Bridgend council has also submitted plans to build a new water sports centre and cafe in Rest Bay and to refurbish the harbour kiosk with new facilities planned at Porthcawl Marina.

A council spokesman said if successful the water sports centre and café at Rest Bay will provide new high-quality facilities near the award-winning Blue Flag beach while “establishing an iconic, contemporary attraction capable of supporting and developing sports and leisure activities in the area”.

The harbour kiosk, according to developers, will also “give the historic building a fresh new look while introducing showers, toilets and other facilities for boats using Porthcawl Marina”.

This is how the harbour kiosk next to Porthcawl Marina could look if redevelopment plans go ahead
(Image: Bridgend County Borough Council)

The former derelict Grade II listed Jennings Building was transformed by Wales-based developers ABA Holdings after Bridgend council granted them a long-term lease on the property.

They invested £2.5m in the project, with support from Finance Wales and Townscape Heritage Initiative Funding provided via Bridgend council from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Cadw.

Councillor Charles Smith, cabinet member for education and regeneration, said: “The Jennings Building is an iconic building along the waterfront that has been vacant for many years so it’s wonderful to see its regeneration nearing completion.

“I, like many others, have kept a close eye on the development as it has progressed and it was exciting to see the first business open there recently.

“This is huge news for Porthcawl and a real landmark development that can become an attractive focal point for local people and visitors alike.

“Allied with the recent improvements to the marina, the Maritime Centre proposal, and the fact that thousands of visitors will be coming to Porthcawl for the Senior Open later this month, these are extremely exciting times for the town.”

How the Rest Bay water sports centre could look from the rear
(Image: Bridgend County Borough Council)

The Jennings Building is widely considered to be one of the few remaining early dockside warehouse buildings from its era in south Wales.

Built in 1832, it was originally constructed as the southern terminus of the Dyffryn Llynfi Porthcawl horse-drawn tram road, which was used to transport iron and coal from the Llynfi Valley and was more recently used as an indoor skatepark.

Coun Smith added: “The Townscape Heritage Initiative in the Porthcawl harbour area has made over £1m worth of funding available for us to work with building owners and local organisations on the sensitive repair and restoration of historic premises, structures and open spaces, all using traditional materials and skills.

“Another project that we are equally proud of is the way that the scheme has helped us to bring the Old Pilot Lookout Tower – another listed building – back into use. After being restored the building was handed over to the National Coastwatch Institution, who are now using it to keep our shores safe.

“We are extremely proud of our heritage and the THI scheme has enabled us to bring vacant historic buildings back to their former glory and celebrate the distinctiveness of local architecture.”

Work has begun on transforming The Rest into apartments

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/new-water-sports-centre-caf-13315378