A new watersports centre is being planned for one of Wales’ most beautiful beaches

One of Wales’ cleanest and most beautiful beaches is set to get a new watersports centre.

Bridgend council has revealed its plans for designing and developing a new centre at Rest Bay in Porthcawl .

The ambitious project is intended to provide new, high-quality facilities for visitors to the award-winning Blue Flag beach while establishing an iconic, contemporary attraction capable of supporting and developing sports and leisure activities in the area.

Rest Bay in Porthcawl attracts thousands of people during the summer

With funding currently being sought for the project, it forms part of an initiative to create a year-round, family-friendly local hub for water-based sports that will appeal to a broader audience of seasoned enthusiasts and beginners alike.

Bridgend council hopes the proposals will make the most of the “unique setting” offered by Rest Bay and could also include enhanced café and kiosk facilities as well as improved changing and toilet facilities.

Porthcawl’s coast and beaches have a long history of attracting residents and visitors and Rest Bay is known to be one of the best surf beaches in the UK.

‘Uniquely-placed destination’

A council spokesman said that with more than 3.75m people living within a two-hour drive of the area the project aims to capture the growing popularity of sports and leisure activities and make Rest Bay a uniquely-placed destination for surfing and other watersports in Wales.

He said the plans for the new water sports centre have taken inspiration from similar UK facilities such as Swansea’s 360 Centre, Monmouthshire’s Llandegfedd Centre, Peterborough’s Ferry Meadows Centre and the Dover Sports Centre.

Bridgend council has taken inspiration from Llandegfedd Visitor and Watersports centre near Pontypool

The announcement follows the recent granting of planning permission for the community–led Porthcawl Maritime Centre project and news that work has started on bringing the Grade II listed Jennings Building back into public use with all-new waterfront facilities.

Councillor Charles Smith, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development and chairman of the Bridgend Coastal Partnership, said: “An all-new watersports centre at Rest Bay will further consolidate Porthcawl’s growing visitor appeal and secure its potential as a coastal resort fit for the 21st century.

Porthcawl could be ‘destination of choice’

“The potential and high quality of local water sports was highlighted recently when Porthcawl Surf School beat off 150 competitors to be named Best Surf School In Britain at the UK Pro Surf Tour Awards 2016.

“Many people could be encouraged to holiday within the UK in future, and Porthcawl stands to benefit as long as it has the attractions and facilities to become an all-year-round destination of choice.

“The other work that is underway in Porthcawl sits alongside the likes of its world-class golf facilities, Wales Coastal Path, and new marina to form an ambitious programme of regeneration that will strengthen the area’s position among visitors, who spent in excess of £313m in the county borough last year.

“We have also had a highly effective Coastal Partnership in operation for nearly two years and this is helping to drive forward the type of change that we all want to see by enabling us to share ideas and work closely together.”

Karl Schmidtke, chairman of Bridgend Tourism Association, said: “Tourism is a vital part of the economy of Bridgend County Borough and a much-needed scheme like this is responding to demand.”

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/new-watersports-centre-being-planned-12253754