Legal firm Wollens are planning to be at the heart of the regeneration of Torquay as the English Riviera is transformed into a resort fit for the 21st century.
The Covid pandemic may have dealt a huge blow to Torbay and its already fragile economy, especially to its tourism and hospitality sector.
But business, council and community leaders are working on recovery plans which are now being turned into transformational plans to improve the Bay with a variety of private/public sector investment projects which will change the face – and fortunes – of the area.
One important scheme not far from completion is the £32 million redevelopment of the Torwood Street area of Torquay.
Wollens, now one of the biggest independent law firms in the South West, will be playing a significant role in the THAT Group project, led by developer Peter Tisdale and Ted Baker fashion guru Ray Kelvin.
The scheme, first mooted more than 10 years ago, has been dogged by ups and downs and false dawns but Wollens decided to stick by the developers virtually from day one and signed up to take over a floor of office space in the new building which will also be home to a 130-bedroom Hilton-branded hotel and restaurants.
Wollens, currently based in offices just up the road on The Terrace, are hoping to move in into their new base in November. They are that close to the new building that they will keep their prestigious The Terrace address.
Wollens’ investment and continued support was seen as a massive vote of confidence in Torbay and its future. It also comes at the same time as other game-changing projects are in the pipeline.
A new Premier Inn hotel is being built on part of the nearby Terrace car park and plans are progressing to reshape and improve The Strand area which will be rejuvenate the waterfront area.
Torquay is hopefully also about to secure £25 million in Town Deal funding from the government which will breathe new life into the town and its High Street.
Wollens chief executive Chris Hart said: “We have all endured some pretty tough and horrid times in the past few months but I think that we are all agreeing that now is the time to grab the bull by the horns and move on to a brighter and more prosperous future.”
There are now plans to make the state-of-the-art Torquay offices its new South Devon hub. Wollens currently have offices in Newton Abbot and Dartmouth.