£1.5m Rest Bay Watersports Centre officially opens

Rest Bay beachfront busy with surfers
Image caption Rest Bay is popular with surfers

A £1.5m watersports centre is being officially opened to draw more visitors to a seaside town.

New attractions like the centre at Rest Bay, Porthcawl, are key to making Wales a "leading coastal destination", Culture Minister Lord Elis-Thomas said.

It has been purpose-built for surfers, kayakers, canoeists and paddleboard fans, as well as cyclists and walkers.

Porthcawl Surf School will occupy the site alongside bike hire facilities and a cafe.

A new pedestrian crossing has been installed to link the centre and the beach.

Image copyright Bridgend council
Image caption Rest Bay Watersports Centre is being officially opened on Friday

The complex also includes changing cubicles and showers and year-round lessons in watersports activities.

The project has also involved a revamp of the town's historic harbour kiosk to provide improved facilities for boat users visiting Porthcawl Marina.

Councillor Charles Smith, Bridgend council's cabinet member for regeneration and education, said he hoped the new centre would become an "iconic landmark".

EU funding has been made available as part of Welsh Government's Tourism Attractor Destination programme to create "must-see" tourist destinations.

Lord Elis-Thomas said the programme was created to "focus efforts and investment on key projects in each region so we have a real impact on Wales' profile in this globally competitive market".

Image copyright Bridgend council
Image caption The watersports centre includes a cafe, showers and changing facilities

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