Two new cafés are set to open at Black Rock next year, as the exciting rejuvenation project to transform the once derelict site progresses.
Work is also due to start on a new pedestrian, cycle and shuttle link between the Black Rock and the Marina, creating an accessible event space and paving the way for future development.
At a policy and resources committee meeting last week, councillors were given an update on the project and proposals for the next three years.
They approved a recommendation to allocate £100,000 funding to prepare a development brief for the site, to attract proposals with leisure and recreation use at the heart.
Boardwalk and wildlife area
Part funded with a £12.1 million Local Growth Fund (LGF) grant, agreed through the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the Black Rock Rejuvenation project is transforming the eastern seafront into an attractive place to visit and enjoy.
Phase one of the project has seen the construction of a new sea wall, 800 metre accessible boardwalk and creation of a new vegetated shingle wildlife area, in a unique partnership with Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank.
Two new cafés
The historic Temple and Reading Rooms are currently being restored to their former glory, ready to be let as a café and restaurant next year.
Work will also begin next month to build a new pedestrian/cycle and future shuttle bus link to the Marina.
To meet the LEP funding conditions the council must now progress with proposals for future development of the site, including its use between completion of the current phase and making it ‘development ready.’
This work includes producing a development brief, along with associated investigations and surveys, to attract bids from developers.
Activities and events
Plans will also progress for a range of outdoor activities and events to be held at Black Rock from next summer, helping to enhance the city’s cultural and tourist offer, as well as generating additional income for the council.
Creating a new temporary event space at Black Rock will also support the upcoming development of Madeira Terrace, providing an alternative location while work takes place, and ensuring that the city can continue to attract and host major seafront events.
This will also support the city’s cultural and arts industry as it continues to recover from the effects of Covid19.
Councillor Tom Druitt, chair of the Eastern Seafront Project Board, said: “It’s been fantastic to watch Black Rock gradually return to life, with its new sea wall, wildlife area and boardwalk, which has been hugely popular with residents and visitors.
“I’m sure the new cafes and pedestrian and cycle links will be equally welcome.
“As we move forward to create this flagship ‘iconic beachfront’ location, we look forward to welcoming more open-air events and activities, along with the opportunity to bid for major music and sporting events, enhancing our reputation as an exciting, vibrant, diverse and accessible city by the sea.”