Pier attraction receives planning permission to extend its cafe and exhibition area.

How the new Ilfracombe Aquarium development will appear. Drawing by TH Design, Ilfracombe.How the new Ilfracombe Aquarium development will appear. Drawing by TH Design, Ilfracombe.

ILFRACOMBE Aquarium has been given the go ahead to expand its café and exhibition space, it has announced today (Friday).

The attraction at the pier hopes the development to add a new café deck, plus more space for fish and sea creatures will help to extend the harbour tourist season.

Owner Lawrence Raybone said they were thrilled to hear North Devon Council had approved the aquarium’s planning application, which would help pave the way for an exciting future.

Work is set to begin in October and will also include solar panels, with the aquarium building extended to connect to the Rocket Shed next door.

“It’s the most logical way of us being able to develop our facilities here,” he said.

“Several thousand in investment suggests to our visitors and the town folk our commitment to the future and our confidence in the town. There are benefits for us as a business but also the wider harbour and town, increasing visitor appeal and extending the season.

“We are very grateful to all the people, local stakeholder groups and decision makers who supported our application, including the Ilfracombe Regeneration team, Harbour Board and forum, NDC planning officers Mike Kelly and Shaun Harrington plus regeneration officer Sally Nelson.”