The site at Port Waterhouse in East Portlemouth, Salcombe Harbour has been in Crispin Waterhouse’s family for nearly 100 years. When Crispin went into partnership with his Aunt, Isobel, he saw potential for creating a bigger business out of the long established mooring site. To put his ideas into action Crispin approached the DR Company who supported him in his application to the South Devon Coastal Local Action Group funding programme.
“The DR Company’s advisors were really helpful and went through the fairly complex funding application with me from start to finish. A detailed business plan was required for the application. The process of creating and perfecting the business plan was enormously helpful with the development of the project as well being a box to tick for the funding bid.” explained Crispin.
The application was successful and funded 34% of the initial project costs which went towards the building of a custom made events venue on the shore of the mooring site. The building includes a bar, toilet and shower facilities, a large wood burner and a balcony with views looking out to Salcombe and the nearby beaches.
With the moorings full to capacity at Port Waterhouse, Crispin is keen to build up the events side of the business, for the benefit of the local community as well as a commercial events venue. The space is currently used for pop-up dining events, weddings and private parties with the aim of hosting more community events in the future.
Making use of an otherwise unused part of the building, Crispin rents the space to Salcombe Paddle Boarding and hopes one day to host a rowing club for East Portlemouth. The main hall is the perfect space for conferences, seminars, meetings, and celebrations, including a recently granted wedding licence, with the venue available to hire by the public at cost effective and tailored prices.
Sustainability, green travel, and supporting local supply chains is foremost in Crispin’s vision. The building itself built by a local builder using suppliers and traders from the South Hams area. While distinctive cladding was imported from Vancouver Island it was brought over to England by a local marine timber business, Stones Marine Timber. The bar stocks mainly local produce including South Hams Brewery, Salcombe Gin and Hattiers Rum.
Access to Port Waterhouse is by ferry or harbour taxi, both forms of public transport. In an effort to further support public transport use in the area, in the Summer Crispin provides parking for 100-120 cars at Port Waterhouse for those wishing to cross by water to the town, reducing congestion in the popular tourist destination town of Salcombe.
South Devon Coastal LAG funding has supported over 40 businesses and community projects all of whom have used the funding to support their local economy.
“I grew up 50 yards from Port Waterhouse so this is a wonderful opportunity for me to expand a family business and support my local community” – Crispin Waterhouse.
Photo credits: Steve Hayward and Graeme Gales Photography