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Fresh investment in hotel shows Bay is on the up

Torbay Council’s planning committee has given the green light to proposals to regenerate Torquay’s Imperial Hotel in another sign that the Bay is on the up.

In 2018, when producing the communications and engagement strategy for the Singapore-based Fragrance Group’s proposals to regenerate four other hotel sites in Torbay, one of our key messages was that this would be a catalyst for further investment in the area.

The planning application by Imperial owners Andrew Brownsword Hotels, which has now been approved, proves the point.

Back in 2019 the Fragrance Group won planning consent to regenerate three former hotels and an old nightclub into four new hotels, in an investment package worth something in the region of £150 million.

At one of the consultation events discussing plans for a replacement for the old Park Hotel in Paignton the owner of a B&B down the road told me a new hotel would give him the spur he needed to invest in his own business so he could remain competitive.

Similarly, neighbours of the old Palace Hotel in Torquay – once a jewel in the crown of the Bay’s tourism offer – overwhelmingly welcomed regeneration because a new hotel would give the whole area a much-needed shot in the arm.

Credit where it’s due, the English Riviera Destination Management Plan is paying dividends. One of its key aims was “increasing the quality of the tourism offer” in order to “attract investment and re-investment into Torbay.”

These dividends can be felt across the bay: improved job opportunities for local people, both in construction and hospitality; fresh investment in apprenticeships; and more visitor spend for many of the area’s other businesses.

It’s a win-win.

If you would like to discuss a communications and engagement strategy for your development project, please contact Andrew Howard or Annette Richman.