Harrison Leisure Ltd, the Bridlington-based hospitality group, has purchased the freehold of The Old Floral Pavilion Leisure Complex, securing the future of the Grade-2 listed iconic Bridlington seafront building as part of a multi-million pound acquisition and refurbishment investment.
Michael Harrison, founder and owner, said: "This is a significant investment for us after 36 years as a long-established tenant of the The Old Floral Pavilion, first with East Yorkshire Council and then East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
"We have spent many hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years and now that the council has sold us the freehold we are in a position to put in the investment to secure the building's future.
"As part of a multi-million purchase and refurbishment programme we have already spent £250,000 on the installation of a new imitation Edwardian wire polycarbonate and aluminium roof to replace the aged Edwardian cast iron and wire glass roof."
Refurbishment plans, brought to the drawing board by Townscape Architects and currently with the planning department of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, will give a complete makeover to the front facade, which 'is very tired, cluttered'.
The inside ironwork for which the 1904 Pavilion is listed* will be subtly reflected on the front with a modern fitted ironwork colonnade coupling with the restoration of the front wall that will transform the Pavilion looking out to sea.
The plans also include a full renovation and refurbishment of the rear, western elevation facing the town with new backlit signs fabricated to match the new ironwork, and glazed canopies with aluminum colonnades.
The Old Burger King unit at the north end of the Pavilion will also be restored to its original state and become a single restaurant.
"There are other parts of the building that we'd like to renovate as we go forward," added Michael, who was very optimistic about the future for the business and the town.
"The Old Floral Pavilion is an amazing site for us to have secured on prime seafront and is the lynchpin of our future plans as we look to continue to invest in the whole of the seafront area."
The Harrison Leisure group, which is behind Salt on the Harbour and The Brunswick Hotel, has been born out of the hard work, endeavor and team ethos of Michael, who has lived and worked in Bridlington since moving north from Slough in 1984 with his family who are from a funfair background.
Starting out with a food kiosk and a couple of holiday rides Michael and his family gradually grew the business, taking on a small seafront amusement park, then leasing The Old Floral Pavilion Leisure Complex as he developed bar, restaurant, ice cream parlour, children’s play area amusement arcade, fish and chip shop, restaurant and takeaway opportunities.
"When I first came here in 1984 the Pavilion was closed and there was little or nothing in the way of amusements," added Michael, who put Bridlington under the national spotlight for tourist destinations in 2007/08 with the resort's 40-metre, Eye on the Bay observation wheel and its 24 enclosed gondolas.
Salt on the Harbour, the high quality seafood restaurant overlooking Bridlington harbour, opened last year after a £250,000 investment that included a full building refurbishment and jobs for 30 full- and part-time staff.