11:30am Wednesday 13th July 2011
By Adrianne Maslen
HUNDREDS of people watched the historic opening of the Marine Parade Shelters to complete the regeneration of Lyme Regis seafront.
A day of events on Saturday marked the end of five years of planning and construction work on the £1.32million project to transform the old concrete shelters.
The scheme provides more public facilities and community spaces, including a performance area, community rooms, and a new information point in the central cavilion.
Town Mayor Sally Holman led a civic procession from the Guildhall to the shelters, followed by the re-dedication of the restored war memorial clock, led by Lyme Regis Royal British Legion president Cecil Quick.
The commemorative stone marking the opening of the central steps in the original shelters by the then mayor William Emm-ett, now re-located, was unve-iled by Mr Emmett’s family.
The ribbon was cut by the mayor, accompanied by Woodroffe School head girl Robyn Lewis and St Michael’s Primary School pupil Samuel Sims Addressing the crowds on Sat-urday, despite problems with the PA system, she said: “The shelters that you now see transform what natural forces had turned into an unsightly public liability into a magnificent community asset.”
Coun Holman said the transformation is owed mainly to architect Tim Williamson and the town council’s client adviser David Gale.
She thanked the consultant specialists, main contractor CS Williams, and its sub-contractors.
Coun Holman said: “Externally there remain small areas to complete. The doors to the two stores are temporary and some works throughout have yet to be finished to the quality we require – a picture that anyone involved in any building project will recognise.”
Phase two of the project, for which fundraising will continue, will involve extending the western ramp, equipping the Lister Room for art exhibitions, extending display facilities in the Central Pavilion, and a new PA system, she said.
She added: “The town council holds these splendid shelters in trust for the people of Lyme Regis.
“Let’s now all pull together to look after them and make them work for everyone’s benefit.”
The shelters were put to good use with musical performances from Lyme Regis Town Band, youngsters of B Sharp, Lyme Voices, the Woodroffe School’s year 11 band Sound Proof, DJ Ayvin, and Mary Lands Pure Dirt Band.
Lyme Youth Theatre and Lyme Regis Majorettes also performed.
Both of the new shops were open too.
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