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Hundreds back efforts to save beachside cafe

The Boardwalk Cafe at Whitley Bay.
REF 1308143951

The Boardwalk Cafe at Whitley Bay. REF 1308143951

Hundreds of people have backed petitions calling for a beachside cafe to be saved from demolition.

Last week, North Tyneside Council announced plans to knock down the Boardwalk Cafe, on Watts Slope, Whitley Bay, as part of plans to regenerate the seafront.

The council is hoping to improve the views along the promenade. But the decision has outraged residents who have set up petitions calling for the building to be saved.

Local resident Barbara Cornfoot has launched one online petition, which has already been signed by more than 800 people.

She said: “If it is still standing, next year will see the 150th birthday of the Boardwalk Cafe. Let’s not wait until the building no longer exists to reminisce and mourn its passing. Let’s act now and save yet another monument that we, the residents of Whitley Bay and further afield, hold dear to our hearts and can, with some collaboration, produce a viable and vibrant coffee bar with sea views to treasure.”

Martin Summers has also created an online petition.

He said: “The Spanish City project the council has been driving and pushing for is nowhere near completion and yet they want to demolish perfectly good buildings that still have a use so the views from this incomplete project will be unblocked and unspoilt.”

A council spokesperson said: “We have set out our ambitious plans for the next stage of development at Whitley Bay seafront, which include improvements to the Northern Promenade area.

“These improvements necessitate removing the Boardwalk Café to allow the entrance to the Northern Promenade to be significantly widened.

“Unfortunately, it has been demonstrated that a café of this type in this particular area isn’t commercially viable.

“In addition, historically, the cafés on this site have been single storey buildings but the 1970s building added a second storey, which spoils the views along the coast.

“We are aware of the petition, and know that many residents and visitors will be sad to see the café go.

“However, our decision is based on our desire to deliver the essential improvements residents and visitors have told us are needed to make sure Whitley Bay seafront is an attractive and appealing destination.

“A new kiosk is planned to replace the cafe. Visitors will also be able to visit existing local cafés and restaurants. Plans for the Dome also include new café and restaurant facilities.”

Both petitions can be found at www.change.org

However, the current owners of the cafe have announced plans for a ‘Goodbye Party’ at the cafe on Sunday, August 31, from 7.30pm.

There will be a disco, DJ, live music, refreshments, food and more.

A cafe spokesperson said: “It is with a heavy heart we are forced to close down in the next few weeks and leave the Boardwalk building to pass into Whitley Bay’s history.

“So dear friends we would love to have you and your friends joining us for the Farewell party, and give a last goodbye to a landmark of Whitley Bay that shall be deeply missed.”

The Boardwalk Cafe was originally developed as Watts Cafe in 1865, 45 years before the Spanish City, by Andrew Hodgson Watts and was run by the Watts family for generations.

 

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