November 2017

Show all parts of this page

When this content has been published

Published on 17 November 2017

Council owned toilets converted into new seaside businesses

Jon Sell, Cllr Kevin Lake and Nick Beer at the Exe Trail Cycle Hire and Veloshack Café.

Council owned toilet blocks have been given a new lease of life and converted into new seaside businesses.

Dawlish Warren’s outer car park is now home to the Exe Valley Cycle Hire and Veloshack café while along the coast in Dawlish Salty Dogs Kiosks has been set up on Smugglers Lane.

Enterprising businessmen seized on the commercial business opportunity to transform the buildings into new businesses after Teignbridge District Council reviewed the amount of toilets within its portfolio.

Jon Sell and Nick Beer converted the loos at Dawlish Warren into new cycle hire and café facilities while Stephen Rowe transformed the toilets in Dawlish into his new business

Cllr Kevin Lake, Teignbridge District Council’s executive for environment services, said:

“We are very pleased to welcome the Veloshack and Salty Dog Kiosks to our business community. These prominent locations have been transformed to welcome beach users visiting our amazing coastline, whether on foot or two wheels.

“By encouraging new businesses this leads to reduced running costs to taxpayers in the future and also encourages sites to be used innovatively to support local communities.”

Before work could begin by any new owners moving into the building at Dawlish Warren, the site was returned to a bare shell through grant funding to support the establishment of a cycle hire business. This was supported with £30k from Great Western Railway’s Customer and Communities Improvement Fund and £20k from Devon County Council’s Destination Dawlish bid to the Coastal Community Fund.

Jon Sell, from Exe Trail Cycle Hire and Veloshack Cafe, said:

“Nick and I come from differing backgrounds, restaurant and cycling respectively. The Veloshack is on the popular Route 2 of the national cycle network, commonly known as the Exe Estuary Trail, and so cycle hire and quality café facilities seemed like a good idea. As well as our proximity to the trail, the business is also in the heart Dawlish Warren, which is a popular holiday destination. We are working towards becoming a destination cycle experience as well as providing activities for visitors and locals alike.”

Stephen Rowe, from Salty Dog Kiosks, said: 

“Teignbridge Council have been tremendously supportive with our proposals for the disused site. The area had been disused for three years and needed some investment to encourage growth. The area has benefitted from the Kiosk catering services now available to walkers, tourists and local residents and the beach has been a popular location throughout the summer.

“The revenue now gained by the concession can be reinvested into the area where it is most needed. Smugglers Lane, the beach and the South West Coast Path is an area for everyone to enjoy.”