A businessman from Saltburn-by-the-Sea has designed a row of beach huts on the town’s seafront, with plans to reach a total of 45 in time for summer 2018.
Stuart Marshall began the £600,000 project in July of this year and has been assisted by a Start-Up Loan delivered by Business Enterprise Fund (BEF).
Though not yet completed, his huts are already proving to be a hit both locally and from people around the world.
Stuart said: “I run a roofing business and from travelling around the country I’ve always appreciated beach huts in seaside towns – but thought they could be better.”
“Saltburn used to have a row of beach chalets, which were operational in the 1950’s but since their demise, there has been a gap.
“Now there’re 12 built, I’ve had offers for purchase from visitors as far as Australia!”
To their disappointment, Marshall’s Beach Huts are not for sale.
Locals and visitors can rent by the day all year round, including in the colder months, where there has been a surprising uptake.
Stuart continued: “We’ve had people booking them out for BBQ’s on the beach on Christmas Day!”
The project has been part-funded from Stuart’s existing business, with employees bringing his designs to life.
Inside, the huts are fitted with electricity, tea, coffee and deckchairs, and have hosted a number of parties already. They are also easily accessible for the elderly and disabled.
“They have a very sturdy design to withstand the stormy coastal conditions. We wanted to provide something that everyone can use.”
“Looking ahead we want to host school trips, bonfire nights and have a Santa’s grotto over Christmas,” explained Carol, Stuart’s sister, who is also involved in the venture.
So far three jobs have been created to help manage the leisure huts, with further jobs in maintenance scheduled for the busier months ahead.
Simon Jackson, head of investment at BEF, said: “It’s great to be funding small businesses with big ideas.”
“We’re committed to funding businesses in the Tees Valley region and Stuart’s innovation has really added value to Saltburn.
“He’s seen a gap in the market, and I expect more coastal towns will want to follow suit.”
Stuart added: “It’s been great to have such fantastic feedback, particularly from Redcar and Cleveland Council.”
“Looking ahead we have plans to fulfil orders for similar projects in Hartlepool and Seaton Crewe.”
“I’m very grateful for the help BEF have given. We’re looking forward to seeing this bring enjoyment and add value to the local community.”