Plans for an innovative watersports centre for Cleethorpes waterfront, that has been designed so that it can be packed up and moved as sea levels rise has been backed by the public and granted permission by North East Lincolnshire Council.

The Yorkshire Post reports that the venture by Ebb & Flo, an AALS (Adventurous Activity Licensing Service) Approved Watersports Centre that provides stand-up paddleboard lessons and equipment hire, plans to construct the new centre from shipping containers on the site of a former amusement arcade on the waterfront.

The contemporary three-storey building will include a shop, café and restaurant, and will offer watersports activities such as paddle boarding and kayaking.

Ebb & Flo’s unique shipping container headquarters will have a glass front that looks out over the sea and is designed so that the modular building can be dismantled and then erected on a new site to future proof it against the risk of rising water levels, which the Environment Agency predict will be around 1.5 metres over the next 100 years.

The founders of Ebb & Flo, Toni and Vince Weavers hope that the improved facilities will attract more tourists and holidaymakers, as well as watersports adventure seekers, to Cleethorpes.

Ebb & Flo’s business model is based on sustainability and aims to drive a positive change to the local area and the wider world, and donates a portion of its profits to charity, including planting 10 trees for every item sold from its shop prices over £10, as well as donating to Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), education programmes, and beach cleaning campaigns.

The planning application for the building states: “This building will create a vibrant and exciting mixed-use development that combines Ebb & Flo’s watersports activities, café, first-floor flexible venue and lettable units for rent to complementary businesses.

“The building will be constructed using modular shipping containers provided by a local manufacturing firm which will create a demountable building that can adapt to future rising sea levels.”

The centre will be used for training in paddle boarding and kayaking. The scheme also includes changing facilities and a classroom, as well as a top floor flat.

Members of the public from the seaside town have given the plans enthusiastic backing, and the plans have been approved by North East Lincolnshire Council.

One Cleethorpes resident said they believed that through the investment, the town can be showcased as a centre for innovation, sustainability, and be a place where more people will want to live and work, and hopefully attract more investment into the dilapidated and undervalued parts of the town, especially the North Promenade.

Councillor Debra Rodwell said: “What Ebb & Flo have done for our community in Cleethorpes is excellent. They have brought fitness, activity, fun and leisure to our area. They are popular and ethical.

“The proposed buildings are attractive and I believe fit really well with the direction I would like to see our area move to.”

Grimsby Cleethorpes District Civic Society also expressed support and said that they were impressed with the innovative use of shipping containers as building materials.


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