2011 East Devon District Council published the Master Plan for regeneration on the Exmouth Town Centre and seafront. The Sideshore project belongs to Phase 2 of the project. Various plans were put forward – and ultimately dismissed – but a seed of an idea formed in the mind of Mark Dixon, a founder of Oxygen House in Exeter.
2014 Mark decided to commit to his idea: making this area of Exmouth a destination for watersports with a landmark, sustainable building providing access to activities and space to enjoy the waterfront. It was to be a not-for-profit project which would benefit the local area both environmentally and economically, aligning with the ethos of the Oxygen House Group.
Grenadier – a member of the Oxygen House Group – is a local Devon firm specialising in ethical and sustainable real estate. Mark’s inspiration empowered Grenadier to run the project and develop the site, bringing his vision to life of creating a genuine legacy for the community of Exmouth.
2015 A unique agreement was reached between the council and Grenadier underpinning Sideshore’s not-for-profit status. The Council leased Grenadier the site for a nominal fee of £1 for 125 years. This meant it could fulfil its community benefit objective. Grenadier was able to manage the process and ensure the building met the highest environmental and sustainability goals. And finally, a Community Interest Company (CIC) was set up to ensure the zero profit commitment was upheld.
2017 With plans for the development submitted, Grenadier undertook an extensive community consultation to engage with local people and to answer any questions – intended to ensure the centre would leave a positive legacy for the community. Out of this Grenadier undertook further reviews on water safety by employing an expert to peer review East Devon District Council’s water safety risk analysis and plan for Sideshore.
2018 An exciting milestone for the project was reached in June when planning permission was granted.
2019 In the summer, work finally began and the public were able to catch the first glimpses of the project coming to life. A two-storey, low-impact, complementary and sustainable structure right on the Exmouth sea front, designed as a legacy for the seaside town.
2020 Sideshore undertook a phased opening, beginning with Edge Watersports opening Autumn 2020.
Once operational the centre will be managed by the CIC. Bringing champion level watersports tuition, new local jobs and work experience opportunities, a ground-breaking sustainable structure, and a whole host of health and wellbeing events to Exmouth, Sideshore is poised to attract more tourism to the area whilst working long-term to provide a lasting legacy to local people.