Feasibility study planned for Westbrook Loggia building

Westbrook

A £30,000 contract is being offered to produce a feasibility study for the Westbrook Loggia building.

The building is currently in a poor state according to council documents when the site was listed for asset disposal in 2019. However, it is being used (pre-covid) by Thanet Lifeguard Club, the cafe concession and Your Leisure’s Bay Inspector.

The chosen contractor will produce a study looking at future options for the site and the cost of proposals.

According to the Architect’s Journal the project is to transform the Loggia into a food, retail or mixed-use venue with small scale self-catering accommodation and public toilets.

When the site was listed for asset disposal by Thanet council a stipulation of sale on the open market was for the purchaser to commit to building the new public toilets.

Those applying for the contract must have a company turnover of £60,000 or above. The deadline for applications is March 8 at 2pm. Work is due to take four months from March 22.

Several expressions of interest were previously lodged with Thanet council for taking over the building.

Thanet Lifeguard Club had come up with proposals and Mixed Martial Arts fighter Cameron Else had drawn up plans for Project Combat Westbrook which would have housed Fight the Demon HQ mental health charity, Hot Yoga, Mr Sport Nutrition Kitchen and Westbrook Water Sports.

The Project Combat scheme was also submitted for the Margate Town Deal scheme – bidding for £25 million of government cash – but did not make the shortlist despite local popularity.

However, the Project Combat team says discussions are now back on, posting to facebook to say: “We have everything in place and needed to get this project underway. We are is talks again with TDC, and look forward to making good progress.”

The contract brief says: “Thanet council has a Beach Management Plan which included an audit of 17 of the district’s beaches and bays. One of the recommendations from the Thanet Beach Management Plan was to look at options for Westbrook Bay, Margate and in particular the Westbrook Loggia.

“Since the publication of the Beach Management Plan, the Loggia has fallen into a poor state of repair and in 2019 the Loggia was approved for disposal.

“Alongside this plan, there is a new and updated Destination Management Framework which identifies the opportunity to improve the accommodation offer in Thanet and provide a wider range of beachfront activities and leisure services.

“The council wishes to see something that will enhance the bay and make optimum use of the footprint of the Loggia and its position in relation to access to the beach and its vista.”

In a Cabinet agenda for the asset disposal of the Loggia it says: “The building is in very poor condition requiring an estimated £700,000 to be spent over a term of five years to maintain and prevent further deterioration of the building.

“Rental received per annum of £9,900, however the lease has expired and therefore the income is not certain. All income is received on terms which mean that the council retains the liability for the majority of repairs and maintenance as well as capital works. It is recommended that property is disposed of on the open market with tenants in situ.

“The disposal of the site would yield a capital receipt for the council, reduce maintenance costs and liability and provide opportunities for external investment in the site to promote economic development.

“A clause will be included whereas the purchaser, in addition to the purchase price, will also build a new modern public toilet facility.”

Find the contract offer here

Find Project Combat here