We are so thrilled to announce that Onion Collective has been granted planning permission for our East Quay Cultural Enterprise Development on the marina-side in Watchet!
The decision was unanimously agreed by the Planning Committee of West Somerset Council last Thursday 28th June. This decision is the culmination of four years hard work and is a momentous decision for us at Onion Collective and for the community of Watchet and West Somerset of which we are privileged to be a part.
The proposal is for 14 workshop/studios/enterprise units, a two storey gallery for Contains Art, a brasserie style restaurant, self catering accommodation 'pods', marina facilities, a handmade paper mill, a rock and fossil preparation lab and a print studio, public space for events and activities, and pathways linking the development to a new proposed access ramp to Splash Point and the England Coast Path.
For more information about the project follow this link
The project will bring £7.5m capital investment into Watchet, and will mean £6.5m increased tourism spend each year in Watchet. It will provide 47 jobs onsite and 5 apprenticeships, these jobs will be created in the workspaces, gallery, accommodation, enterprises and restaurant.
We would like to offer an enormous thank you to all those who have worked so hard to make this possible, and so our heartfelt thanks go to our architect Invisible Studio, our Landscape Architect LT Studio, and all of the consultants and practitioners who have enabled us to get this far, and to the new tenants who have provided invaluable feedback and support as to how the new building should work.
We would also like to give special thanks to the wonderful people of Watchet, who have been with us on this journey for the last four years, and have joined us in four rounds of whole town consultation, giving advice, offering support and ideas and providing considered thinking and considerable know-how about what this town needs for a stronger future.
We now fundraise in earnest. We have various funding applications in train at the moment, including £5m from the Coastal Communities Fund. The results of these applications will dictate the next steps and how long the next part of this journey will be. In the best case scenario if all the funding applications are successful we aim to open doors autumn 2020.
We'll keep you posted on how this develops.
Here is the speech that Jess gave at the Planning Committee, which she gave again in the sunshine of the Contains Art courtyard, it explains the project, why it is so important and what it means for this area.