New first floor area part of ongoing expansion plans at local tourist attraction

Ilfracombe Aquarium has opened a new Café Deck as part of its ongoing expansion plans.

Owner Lawrence Raybone said the new first floor area, costing upwards of £30,000, had been possible thanks to a substantial grant from North Devon FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group).

It has doubled the aquarium's café size, both inside and out, making it a far more attractive for locals and visitors, as well as creating another four part-time jobs.

Other works have included installation of solar panels on the roof plus structural steels in the aquarium building.

This will enable the next phase of connecting to the Rocket Shed next door and extending the exhibit space, planned in the next couple of years.

Lawrence said he was grateful for the support of the community, North Devon Council and FLAG during the works, which used local tradesmen throughout.

"We are delighted to do our bit for Ilfracombe to further it's visitor appeal and are confident current and proposed developments will provide more employment opportunities and extend our season," he said.

"There's a massive number of people interested in all things fish and we are always keen to promote the importance of that in our local environment."

Chrissie Ingle, project development officer at FLAG, added: "This small business in Ilfracombe, one of the FLAG's priority communities, is key to educating visitors and residents alike about the marine life in our local rivers, estuaries and seas.

"The developments can only increase the potential of what is already a well-loved attraction."