Carbis Bay Hotel development is 'a jewel in the crown'
DETAILED plans have been revealed for an £8 million beach-front water sports centre, conference and wedding venue, restaurant and community hub that "sets the footprint for the future" of Carbis Bay.
The plans unveiled in full for the Carbis Bay Hotel and beach should create the equivalent of 65 full-time jobs, according to owners Malcolm and Stephen Baker. It has been heralded by tourism and community leaders as creating an economic pattern for the future of the region. The 25-acre beach is the only privately owned Blue Flag beach in Britain, and the luxury hotel sits in 100 acres, with 47 bedrooms and 17 apartments.
The new development – planned to be built in three six-month phases over successive winters – will add to that a wedding and conference venue that will accommodate up to 250 guests.
Stephen Baker said the hotel, opened in 1894, is booked up for weekend weddings until 2015.
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The key aim of the development, due to be funded through investment and grants, and from revenue generated by eight planned new beachside apartments, is to create year-round trade in Carbis Bay.
That vision has drawn praise from the Mayor of St Ives Ron Tulley.
He said: "We depend on tourism and everyone who has been to St Ives in the winter knows what it is like.
"Our challenge is to extend the seasonality and I'm sure this will. It is going to be at the heart of the community offering so many facilities."
The plans, due before Cornwall Council in February, include a community hub.
Mr Baker said: "The development is not just about tourism, it's about engaging with the local community to be a year-round development. We want local people to use it and give access to schools and colleges and create a training kitchen."
Facilities also include an education room and a water sports centre. The design also caters for walkers on the South West Coast Path, which runs right through the site.
John Slater, from the South West Coast Path, said: "I think it will provide a magnificent facility for the thousands who walk the path every year."
Deputy mayor Colin Nicholls said: "It has so much that I believe in. It's going to sustain the future of the tourist industry in the South West. I think it is a unique opportunity and I look forward to it."
Mr Baker defended plans to redevelop the tired chalets on Carbis Bay beach as eight self-catering apartments.
The apartments have already drawn objections from locals.
But Mr Baker said: "I think people object because they think we will sell off the apartments and that's not the case. They are for the benefit of the business, to be let weekly for holidays or for weddings.
"But the whole development hangs on that. If they are not passed then the development will not go ahead. We've got a jewel in the crown here. Owning the beach means we've got a responsibility to do something with it."