Commercial property experts tasked with developing a leisure-led masterplan for the redevelopment of Seven Brethren including a new swimming pool said there were real opportunities for Barnstaple to benefit from growth in the leisure industry sector. John Kinsey, director of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), said Barnstaple could benefit from an injection of restaurants and leisure facilities, including gyms, a new cinema or bowling alley. Speaking at todays (Wednesday) Opportunity Barnstaple event, he said the site could also be used to develop a sporting centre of excellence in the town. Seven Brethren could offer a much improved sports offer to go with the new pool, said Mr Kinsey. He added that the health and fitness market in the UK was booming, with gym membership up 44 per cent in the last year. There is also massive growth in the restaurant market, he said. In 2015, 847 new restaurants were opened across the UK by the top 150 operators and that excludes independents. Nandos has a new restaurant opening nearly every week and I think Barnstaple could really benefit from this growth. Restaurants drive change to city centres; they bring people in, expand dwell time and people use independent traders alongside them. They are being used by people right across the demographic spectrum. JLLs James McMurdo, who is writing the £33,000 report due to go before the councils executive next month, said: We are looking at Seven Brethren to see what it could deliver and are developing a masterplan for the site that is deliverable. It is important that whatever we put on that site doesnt undermine Anchorwood Bank or the town centre thats why we feel it should be leisure-led. The main focus is on the leisure centre and the key thing that underpins everything is the pool. Mr Kinsey said the site was being market tested with operators and developers to ensure the masterplan was achievable. We have had discussions with local and national companies, as well as end users and the feedback has been exceptionally positive, he said. We are also looking at residential the more value we can add to the site, the better. We are working with architects in Exeter to develop a masterplan within the next few weeks; its proving to be a really interesting project so far.