Black Pool Mill and £15 Million Lodge Investment
Bluestone gets the green light for Black Pool Mill – and plans for an economic boost of £15m into new lodge investment
On Tuesday, a change of use application was approved by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Planning Authority, paving the way for Bluestone National Park Resort to restore Blackpool Mill into a heritage restaurant and creating a cafe and exhibition space in the adjacent former cottage and forge building.
Bluestone has also today launched a pre-application consultation to build 80 new lodges at the resort. The consultation requires engagement with members of the local community and statutory consultees and encourages engagement with non-statutory bodies on the proposals.
The Narberth holiday resort employs more than 700 people and welcomed almost 155,000 visitors in 2019, with an average year-round occupancy of 97% in its 344 lodges, studios, and cottages. The company works with and supports a wide range of suppliers across Wales with 65% of its £7.8m expenditure being retained within its home county of Pembrokeshire.
Bluestone is determined to invest further in the business, despite the current pandemic and the challenges it is creating for the tourism industry, to expand its offering, increase local jobs and support the regional and West Wales economy – and ensure that it keeps delivering high-quality breaks in an unparalleled, environmentally-conscious setting.
The Blackpool Mill heritage restaurant will be open to locals and visitors to the county, as well as Bluestone resort guests, serving lunches, cream teas, and dinner throughout the year. The upscale restaurant will be able to accommodate around 160 diners, creating over 35 year-round jobs and showcasing produce from local suppliers.
The proposed lodge development, set within Bluestone’s 500-acre site, will build on the existing success of the resort. The development will provide an additional 80 superior, environmentally sensitive, self-catered lodges. Bluestone will be investing £15m into the development, which will create and support over 250 jobs in the construction phase as well as nearly 90 operational jobs on-site following the completion of the works, promoting local skills and employment. Currently around half of Bluestone’s guests leave the resort during their break to enjoy all that Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire have to offer. It is expected that the new lodges will increase spending in the surrounding area by up to £1m per year.
The projects represent a significant investment for Bluestone and Pembrokeshire, which will contribute positively to the county’s economy and will result in direct and indirect spending elsewhere in the region.
Speaking about the approved application and Bluestone’s development plans, Liz Weedon, Head of Projects, said: “We are really pleased to have the application approved and are truly excited about our plans for Black Pool Mill. We will shortly begin work to restore the building, to be enjoyed once again by local people and visitors to the county. The Mill is a unique historic building that sits in a beautiful position on the Cleddau River. We are committed to breathing new life into the Mill whilst preserving and restoring its historic past”.
“We are also really excited about our proposed development – which cements Bluestone’s firm commitment to further investment, job creation, and supporting the wider regional economy. It has been a very challenging year for everyone; we proud and privileged to be based in Pembrokeshire and see real potential for the county to significantly benefit from staycation demand in the future.”
“We are looking forward to discussing our proposals on what would be a very significant investment in tourism for Pembrokeshire, Wales and the UK”
07/10/2020 - Ends