Torbay Council and developers THAT Group are delighted to confirm that the £32m development on Torwood Street, Torquay will start on site in mid-September.
The contract sees a mixed development in the popular harbour side location and represents a big step forward for Torquay’s town centre regeneration. It is also important in demonstrating that Torbay is a good place to invest.
Torbay Council will make a commercial loan to the scheme through its Investment and Regeneration Fund which, along with bank finance and THAT Group’s funds, means that the scheme is fully funded and can proceed.
THAT Group’s proposal includes the development of a 130-bed hotel alongside new office accommodation and food and drink units. The Council’s investment alongside the private sector will provide a real boost to the tourism sector in Torbay, adding momentum to town centre regeneration and providing high quality office space for one of the region’s leading legal practices.
Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “I spent many years supporting this project and ensuring that it would reach a successful conclusion for Torbay. This is one of the largest and most significant private sector schemes going ahead at this time. It is the key to creating confidence for further investments at present in the pipeline to come forward to fruition and stature. It is my major private sector priority in supporting and encouraging further and future private sector capital investment in our town centres.
“I thank Peter Tisdale, Ray Kelvin and the banks for having the confidence to invest in Torbay, you have set the example for others to follow. This will create and maintain hundreds of new jobs in Torbay and encourage existing businesses who wish to grow and prosper to stay in the Bay where they have a bright future.”
Peter Tisdale of THAT Group said: “To say that we are thrilled to be able to confirm that the scheme is now in a position to proceed would be an understatement! This has been a long, long time coming and I would like to thank local businesses and residents for their patience: we have shared their frustration that we have not been able to take this forward until now.
Today’s great news is a testament to the patience and perseverance of a group of dedicated individuals in Torquay who have worked tirelessly alongside my team to get this project to the start line. We’d like to express THAT Group’s thanks to Torbay Council and TDA for their support and we look forward to starting on this exciting project.”
“On a more personal note I’d like to thank all those who have supported the project throughout our journey to here. The end result will not only be fantastic for the Torwood Street area but also for the wider economy of the bay. On with the show!”
Chris Hart, Chief Executive of Torquay solicitors, Wollen Michelmore, said: “As an ambitious and growing practice this investment is a great opportunity for us to relocate our Torquay office. The development of offices in Torquay town centre is really important to us to continue to work within the local community and to provide exceptional facilities to both our clients and our staff for our nationally recognised service.”
Torbay Council’s investment is being made through its Investment and Regeneration Fund which enables the Council to invest in opportunities and assets to generate income. This income is then used to sustain council services. The portfolio of investments brings financial benefits to Torbay and brings forward regeneration schemes benefitting the Bay’s economy.
Chairman of the Investment and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Chris Robson, said: “It is crucial that we identify the right opportunities so that we get a good return on our investments and can use the income to reinvest in services that matter the most to our residents. Not only does Torwood Street meet this criteria, it also meets our remit to invest specifically for regeneration in Torbay. I look forward to seeing the scheme progress.”
The Council has now invested in several key projects, including the Electronics and Photonics Innovation Centre and the Graphic Controls unit in Paignton. These projects will create employment, bring inward investment and further enhance the competitiveness of the wider region and provide investment and expansion opportunities.
Vince Flower, Chairman of TDA, said: “We are really pleased that TDA has been able to contribute towards brokering a deal between Torbay Council and THAT Group to ensure this scheme comes forward. The delivery of such schemes is at the core of the town centre regeneration work which TDA leads on as part of Torbay Council’s Economic Strategy. It also shows that now is the time to capitalise on the real confidence in Torbay from investors which is creating new opportunities for the Torbay community.”
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