A busy Queen's Drive Space this summer.

Planning application submitted for another year of temporary uses for the site until March 2020

Feedback from visitors to Exmouth’s new temporary Queen’s Drive Space  has been overwhelmingly positive according to a survey of users carried out in the summer.

People and families who visited the new Space, which featured a Jurassic-themed play park, a popular beach bar and food village and an events space used for live performances and big screen films, gave the site great reviews and was well received by locals and visitors alike.

The council has now submitted a planning application to continue the temporary uses on the site until March 2020. It is expected to go before the council’s Development Management Committee early next year. The big wheel will also be coming back for the summer as well.

In a survey carried out during the summer and commissioned by East Devon District Council, who have created the new Space, 77% of users said their expectations of the site were ‘exceeded’. Almost every user said they would use a similar type of site at Queen’s Drive Space if it was provided again next year.

The previous seafront leisure uses were not a big pull for visitors to Exmouth according to the 2016 Exmouth Visitor Survey so it’s great to know that the Queen’s Drive Space was now the main reason for visiting Exmouth for almost 60% of those interviewed.

The quality of the children’s play area and overall enjoyment of the site in general received the highest satisfaction scores amongst users. The survey results were based on 500 face to face interviews and 571 online surveys and a total of 1,071 responses were received.

It was a real summer of fun at Queen’s Drive, offering something for every age group, as the children’s play area was packed out on most days and the food and drink zone was a popular attraction. The council received very positive comments including . . .“my children always ask to go to the ‘beach dinosaur park’” . . . “we have visited four times already and hope to visit many more times” . . . “great park for kids and adults can grab a coffee and snack at the same time” . . .”everyone is really impressed and it’s a real credit to Exmouth.”

From May to September, the successful programme of events included three free live screenings from the Royal Opera House attended by almost 600 people, eight film screenings attended by almost 800 people, three theatre performances and two free live music weekends.

For the autumn and winter months, the play park and seating areas are open and, when weather permits, Big Bear coffee will be available.

Councillor Phillip Skinner, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the economy, and chairman of the Exmouth Regeneration group, said:

I am greatly encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive findings of the visitor survey. To hear people say that it is a real credit to Exmouth and that it has influenced their decision to visit is great to hear and demonstrates that the council’s decision to bring new and fresh attractions to the seafront is truly vindicated.

A planning application has been submitted so that we can keep the facilities open from March next year and we hope to have more food and events come the spring.