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The once-booming UK seaside town ‘ruined’ by crime and abandoned tourist attractions | UK | News UK News

The crumbling pavilion and the abandoned tourist attractions are sights locals are sick and tired of seeing as established landmarks become blights on the landscape.

Torquay was once a traditional and thriving seaside town, set on Devon’s English Riviera with its iconic trees, busy harbour, sandy beach and continental-style cafes.

In 2016, the Guardian described the town had “traded its dusty slapstick image for Michelin-starred restaurants and swanky yachts”.

It was also described as the “capital of the English Riviera – steeped in history and a gateway for walks in the Devon countryside”.

Since the pandemic, a number of attractions in the town have closed. Abandoned attractions include Living Coasts which was home to a variety of seabirds and coastal wildlife. Due to failing visitor numbers and the economic impact of the pandemic, the site was closed in June 2020, according to Devon Live. 

Recent statistics show the town also has a high crime rate. Crimerate.co.uk describes Torquay as the “most dangerous medium-sized town in Devon” and states it is among the top five most dangerous overall out of Devon’s 403 towns, villages and cities.

The overall crime rate in Torquay in 2022 was 90 crimes per 1,000 people. In February 2021, Torquay had the worst crime rate in Devon for shoplifting, with 56 crimes reported and a crime rate of 1.1 per 1,000 inhabitants.

July 2021 was also a bad month for Torquay residents, when it was Devon’s most dangerous area for vehicle crime, recording 49 crimes at a rate of 0.96 per 1,000 residents. 

The most common crimes in Torquay are violence and sexual offences, with 2,167 offences recorded in 2022. This is 17% lower than 2021’s figure of 2,597 offences recorded.

However, there are glimmers of hope for improvement as the town is set to complete a £4m transformation. This includes a new statue of Agatha Christie, currently being created by artist Elisabeth Hadley, which will show the Torquay-born Queen of Crime overlooking her beloved harbour as part of a development Torbay Council calls “momentous”.

By next year, the Strand will become a pedestrian boulevard. Discussing the proposals, deputy council leader, Councillor Lewis of Torbay Council, said: “The whole place will be transformed, This has been on the cards for a long time, and it will make the area down by the harbour a really attractive place for residents, businesses and holidaymakers.”

The council hopes to deliver the Town Investment Plan which is ultimately about creating a town centre for locals to be proud of. Torbay Council secured £21.9m of Town Deal Funding from the government and hopes to conduct phases of the work from the end of 2023, according to media outlet, Devon Live.

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Source: www.express.co.uk
This notice was published: 2023-10-28 17:41:00

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