The Ambler

Amble's Community Newspaper: News & events from Amble in Northumberland – The Kindliest Port.

Amble boat yard will close but Spurreli plans to expand

There is mixed news at the harbour as traditional industry makes way for new development.

Fans of Spurreli ice cream will likely be excited to hear of plans to expand their award-winning eatery, into a two-storey building on a site adjacent to the one it occupies now. And plans are also afoot to create new housing, holiday lets and retail pods, on the site of the current boat yard.

boatyard-aerial-view

Aerial view of Amble Boat Yard and Coble Quay developments site. The old Shorebase Trust site is at the bottom of the photo. Photo by Andrew Mounsey Photography

Nick Spurr, owner of the boat yard explained his vision for the harbourside site.

“The decision has been made to close Amble Boat Company and develop the whole site,” he told The Ambler.

“But it’s not a decision that has been taken lightly. I’ve spent my whole life in the marine industry and I’m very focused on trying to retain a marine facility in the town. I am talking to Warkworth Harbour Commissioners and the Marina to see if it is possible to retain some boat repair facility on the old Shorebase Trust site.”

The loss of nine jobs at the boatyard is a blow to the town, a fact of which Nick is acutely aware. “I don’t want Amble, having given us a livelihood for the last 25 years, to then lose a facility that’s been there about 100 years,” he said.

Nick described the plans to transform the boat yard site, with the big blue building replaced by a mix of apartments, holiday lets, retail pods and a restaurant. “Coble Quays Development has been working in consultation with planners for about six months, but we are still working on a final presentation,” he said.

In the meantime, planning approval has been given for the fourth apartment block at Coble Quay, and work on this should begin in September, with a completion date a year later.

In plans still to be submitted, Spurreli Boutique Ice Cream wants to expand to allow more seating capacity, including a glazed balcony and roof terrace with patio heaters on the first floor.

“We want to retain the same character, but make it bigger and nice and open. Upstairs we will also provide a relaxed licensed bar and a clean, fresh lounge area. We hope to create a pleasant evening venue and the whole development should create many new jobs.”

Anna Williams

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