PLANS to replace a mobile cafe along the city’s seafront with a permanent building are finally going ahead.
Work will begin to replace the Coffee Cup kiosk at Eastney’s beach with a new and improved cafe run by the same business from the end of the month.
It will include a takeaway window and 40 tables inside with a log burner.
There will be bi-fold glass doors so visitors can take in the sea views, and it’s hoped more food will be on offer.
And there’s good news for the local economy, because the £200,000 investment by the family-run firm is expected to create 10 extra jobs.
The extra employees will help the 24 staff already working there to run each of Coffee Cup’s sites at Eastney, Clarence Pier, and Guildhall Square, in Portsmouth.
The business got planning permission about 18 months ago, and has spent the time since then putting in all the preparation work.
Adam Parsons, manager of Coffee Cup, said: ‘It’s a completely new project.
‘There is literally no infrastructure there at all, so we have had to find out ways of getting things like water and electricity. There has been so much to find out.
‘Nobody has built anything close by so we’ve had to make sure we are ready to go. It’s a conservation area so we’ve wanted to make sure we are doing the right work.’
Coffee Cup will pay an annual lease fee to Portsmouth City Council as the site where the building is to be based is on council land. The development is part of the authority’s seafront master plan, a planning document which calls on developers to come forward and make ideas happen.
Mr Parsons said: ‘To get to this stage is really exciting.’
Councillor Lee Hunt, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said it was great news.
‘It is part of the Lib Dem-run council’s seafront strategy to deliver more and better eateries and things to do along the seafront,’ he said.
Work is expected to take between three to six months, and recruiting for new jobs will begin once the building is in place and prior to it being kitted out inside.
Conservative Cllr Luke Stubbs, who represents Eastney, said: ‘I have doubts about the design of the building, but having more facilities on the seafront is a positive thing.’
The current kiosk will stay open during the construction.