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650 jobs in £45million Paignton leisure park dream

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 20, 2014

  • Work in progress on the new cycle track at Clennon Valley

Comments (22)

A NEW £45million leisure resort could be created in Torbay — creating 650 jobs.

The Clennon Valley and Goodrington areas could be transformed into a major sporting and leisure venue.

The scheme could include a new lease of life for the Torbay Leisure Centre and preserve open green space.

The cost of the project will be funded by the preferred developer — Moirai Capital Investments Ltd — and their investment partners.

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Part of the package agreed between Torbay Council, the Torbay Development Agency and Moirai Capital Investments Ltd is the improvement of sports pitches in the valley, water sports facilities at Goodrington and a multi-screen cinema and restaurants at Claylands off Brixham Road.

The project would also complement the closed road cycling circuit, which is already under construction near Dartmouth Road, and will ensure the delivery of the associated British Cycling outdoor velodrome.

The developer is proposing:

A new 25m swimming pool

Improvements to the existing TLC 30m swimming pool to create a children's recreational pool.

Bringing a ballistics hall from the London Olympic Games to Torbay creating contemporary facilities for archery and the Paignton Rifle Club.

New gymnastics hall

Beach sports centre at Goodrington

Ten-pin bowling centre and multi-screen cinema, as well as retail and dining outlets at the Claylands site on the Brixham Road.

Moirai propose to make the Splashdown Waterpark an all year round indoor facility.

The council says the development will be run on a commercial basis, removing its current subsidy for the TLC and its ongoing maintenance costs, and significantly increasing Torbay's sporting and leisure facilities. The costs of running the wider operations will be offset with more profitable elements including the development at Claylands.

Details of the proposals will be available to view at a public consultation event on March 14 to 15.

Torbay mayor Gordon Oliver said: "Moirai recognises the potential for tourism and leisure development that Torbay has to offer against a unique backdrop of landscape and coastal scenery. I am particularly impressed with the way that they have presented a viable commercial solution that enhances and preserves the public open space at Clennon Valley and safeguards Youngs Park for open access and public use for future generations."

Martin Barber, of Moirai Capital Investments (Torbay) Limited, said: "These are marvellous locations with great potential for increasing their attractiveness as outstanding leisure facilities. Our plans will greatly enhance the scope for attracting visitors and ensuring that Torbay consolidates its position in the premier league for both holidaymakers and casual visitors. Our planned investment will also provide in the region of 650 jobs."

Robert Excell, the council's executive lead for sport, said: "This enables us to create a cost effective solution to the plans we have been working on with British Cycling to create a centre of excellence for cycling in the Bay."

Torbay Council executive director and TDA chief executive Steve Parrock said: "The council is committed to providing leisure facilities for its residents of the highest standard with increasing pressure on budgets. So the investment and expertise of a professional operator will enable us to improve Torbay's sport and leisure offer at no cost to the council and at a reduction of the current maintenance costs.

"I am delighted that the team has secured this extremely attractive inward investment and regeneration proposal."

British Cycling's regional development manager for the South West Will Newton, said: "We are now looking forward to working with our partners to deliver a facility that will benefit everyone." The tender will be referred to a full council meeting on May 1, with the recommendation for approval, subject to the feedback from the public.

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  • iseveryidused  |  February 25 2014, 12:57AM

    If this project is purely private, I wish them every success. But I struggle to believe that such a facility would be self-sufficient, let alone generate a return for investors. I don't think the area has sufficient population who would be cyclists interested in using such a facility. It is a relatively sparsely populated area and a large proportion of that are elderly. I think you are being incredibly naive to accept everything you are being spoon-fed and apply a little common sense.

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  • BagginsAtSea  |  February 24 2014, 10:31PM

    The Herald Express billboards do say 'dream'.

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  • papper  |  February 24 2014, 9:20AM

    You couldn't make up building a Shopping Centre in Paignton, but the ideas out there. I guess only time will tell. I think you need to read the potential plans in more detail as the whole 'subsidised' comments that keep popping up are misinformed. I think we need to look at what is being proposed rather than focusing solely on the Velodrome. I don't know why the cyclists from Birmingham or London are relevant at all? I think that's a silly remark to make.

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  • iseveryidused  |  February 21 2014, 11:24PM

    But Pappers, just because you WANT to be all aspirational and have visions of Olympians flocking to the Bay for our wonderful training facilities, doesn't mean it will happen! Ironic that you mention about the loss of engineering (Nortel), this was basically down to massive over-expansion based on wildly optimistic sales predictions, that fell predictably short of expectation. Can you remember how refreshing it was when the Willows first opened? It was the Bays first large scale retail experience, on our doorstep and didn't have the aggro with parking anymore, it was magical. Well, time has moved on, and we expect more now. It would be nice to have a little more choice and variety, to remain undercover and to make it more of an event. A lot of Torbay money is being spent elsewhere, wouldn't it be better if that was being spent locally? I'd be interested in what demographic you are from?

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  • iseveryidused  |  February 21 2014, 10:47PM

    At least the Velodrome is a new facility, adding to what we already have. But to duplicate much of what we already have is plain bonkers. One of the posters mentioned "unique". Yes, there is generally good reason for this, doesn't necessarily mean there is a significant gap in the market, it quite often means there is insufficient market to be financially viable. Big difference. And God only knows where these employment figures are being plucked from, I have a few ideas, but it suspect my post would be deleted if I voiced them...

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  • iseveryidused  |  February 21 2014, 7:38PM

    The cyclists from London won't be arriving by train any time soon, that's for sure!

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  • SDbloke99  |  February 21 2014, 5:30PM

    Any body who thinks that building a velodrome at Paignton is suddenly going to turn it into a cycling mecca is totally fooling themselves. The idea that people would come from all over the country to use it is laughable. It's not as if cyclists from London or Birmingham are going to train there on a weekly basis are they? It's ridiculous thinking. The existing leisure facilities are struggling and already subsidised there so the idea is..... build some more???!!!! You couldn't make it up!!!

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  • mikelister66  |  February 21 2014, 4:07PM

    @johnstar - there is a Wickes in Preston as well as a Magnet and Build Centre behind the Asda opposite Roselands .

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  • Johnstar  |  February 21 2014, 3:59PM

    Yes this is a good idea for Clennon valley. Keep it for leisure purposes. I would really like to see some form of theme park too! Anything that brings jobs is needed. What Paignton/Brixham needs is a DIY store. B+Q has a monopoly for the whole of Torbay. I would like to see Wickes or Homebase along the ring road near roselands.

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  • papper  |  February 21 2014, 1:57PM

    I disagree about it being common sense! What will be so differential between the shopping destinations of Plymouth and Exeter and then Paignton having a shopping centre/Mall whatever you want to call it, in west Paignton Vs a complete redevelopment of the sporting facilities on offer at clennon valley that isn't in direct competition with any other like for like in the area. That area needs to be used for employment that will help compensate for loss of engineering etc that used to be there-not a shopping mall. The willows has the out of town shopping experience needed for the bay, why would you want another in Paignton? You could argue about having two cinemas in Paignton which I do agree, that might be wasted in such a small area. Paignton is starting to develop its identity as a sporting destination, that will be its niche. Whether or not you feel that currently the rifle club is underutilised and the velodrome would be nice, what this is creating is a destination for sports and leisure that isn't competing with Torquay and really the wider south Devon. British Cycling wouldn't look to commit a huge amount of money if they felt the scheme was likely to be underutilised or nice to look at. The plans, whether rightly or wrongly, will also look to enhance the offering of facilities in Goodrington that will make it a year round attraction. I can't seem to fathom how you feel that offering a shopping mall would solve the problem for the area or an alternative to spending the money in Goodrignton. I feel the detachment stems from you failing to see the broader picture of what is appropriate in an area like Paignton. I don't believe the infrastructure would cope with the 'demand' on offer from a shopping mall. Especially Brixham road/Tweenaway. I don't have the figures to hand and can only make an un educated guess but if you look at the areas with a wider spectrum of sporting facilities/ beach leisure activities, those areas tend to have more pride in the area and people utilise facilities on their doorstep. Again, its about raising ambition. You don't raise ambition through an hour or so at a shopping mall? Clennon valley offers a unique set up of sporting infrastructure already in place, ready for it to be enhanced further with the added bonus of having Goodrignton on the other side of the road? It makes sense to continue that-I believe the council intend to stop subsidising the TLC if plans for a new/refurbished leisure centre is to go ahead. I don't see why you would want a shopping Mall in the area?! Potential Olympic winners or savvy shoppers??

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