Port Waterhouse – South Devon Coastal Local Action Group support achieving both business & community growth
For over 100 years Port Waterhouse has been run as a business by the Waterhouse family, providing moorings to both tourist and local boating enthusiasts on a seasonal or weekly rental basis on the Salcombe estuary near East Portlemouth, Devon. In 2015, the business moved into a new era when a partnership was created between Isobel Waterhouse (the existing owner) and her nephew, Crispin Waterhouse.
To ensure the long-term success of the business and provide Crispin, his wife and young family with a supportive income (and be able to permanently return to the area in which Crispin was brought up), the business needed to increase its turnover and reduce effects of seasonality.
Crispin Waterhouse is a qualified Mechanical Engineer and his wife Hannah has worked nationally and internationally in business development, sales management, product marketing and strategic marketing. As such, both were very well qualified to push the business forward.
In their first few years Port Waterhouse significantly improved its offering with all profits being reinvested to grow the business. Mooring numbers increased from approximately 40 moorings to over 60 moorings by reworking the existing foreshore and acquiring new moorings from the Salcombe Harbour Authority. However, at this time the only available services were an on-site car park, simple boat storage facilities and an outside tap.
To move to the next phase of expansion the Waterhouse family wanted to develop new facilities, to include a new boathouse (a two storey building of approx. 2000sqft) for new and existing customers alike. The new building would provide toilet and shower facilities, a clubhouse area for customers, along with improved secure storage for small craft.
With the help and support of Local Action Group (LAG) funding, ‘The Boathouse’ became a reality and was completed in 2018 enabling the business to grow significantly and satisfy its main aim of expanding and diversifying its customer base. Port Waterhouse can now offer facilities to those with non-powered craft and others who do not necessarily require water access but want to take advantage of a premium facility by the water in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Boathouse is now available for hire to private parties, weddings and other community events, providing modern café/restaurant and bar space. With new facilities and improved water access now available at East Portlemouth, on the far side of the estuary from Salcombe the Boathouse has naturally helped encourage a longer tourist season for the whole area.
The improved facilities also provide opportunities for other local people and local businesses and it has also ensured provision for contract and permanent work for local people, who are all helping to support the business as it grows and contributing to the success and future prosperity of the community as a whole.
If you’ve been inspired by Port Waterhouse and have a project you would like some help or advice with, please get in touch!
Port Waterhouse: http://www.portwaterhouse.co.uk/