AN ENTREPRENEUR who created a new seafront venue in Hove plans to spend millions transforming two prime sites along the coast in Dorset.

Luke Davis intends to turn restaurants and kiosks at Sandbanks and Branksome Chine on Poole seafront into a Rockwater Village, modelled on the Rockwater operation he runs at Hove.

He spent £2.5million acquiring the Banquets Group, which operates the venues, and says his total investment could reach £8.7m.

He says the sites would be “at the heart of the community”, providing a venue for events from yoga to chess, alongside family restaurants and upmarket entertainment.

The venues would employ “a lot more people”, said Mr Davis, who has around 300 staff at Rockwater Hove.

The Argus: Rockwater Hove

Hove Rockwater

He said he had been consulting with residents’ groups and wanted to hear from the community about what they would like to see happen at the sites.

“It’s a passion project. I want the business to make money but I’m not trying to buy something and ‘flip’ it. I’m going to have a house down here as well,” he said.

The Banquets Group had the leases to operate two buildings at Branksome Chine as well as the café and kiosks at Sandbanks.

Under Mr Davis’s plans, Branksome Chine would feature a family-friendly, affordable restaurant on the ground floor.

Upstairs would be a venue with a retractable roof, offering “oysters, fruit de mer, champagne and entertainment” and featuring comedy and music.
Decking on the beach would provide a venue for community groups to use for free, encouraging such activities as yoga, poetry, chess and crafts. 

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The Sandbanks venue would feature “more lifestyle stuff”, with more entertainment, and another retractable roof. 

Both venues’ kiosks would be turned into ‘Shacks on the Shore’ selling a host of goods. 

“We would be linking the different pieces together – Rockwater Village is the concept we would be using,” he said.

Mr Davis, who ran a venture capital business in London, said he had transformed the rundown site at Hove into his first Rockwater venue. 

“I was thinking ‘What do I want for my family and what would the community want?’ because I live there,” he said.

“People are looking for more than a place to have a pint or a meal, especially with the rate the pubs are closing now.

“Places like this are community hubs. They’re the heart of the local community.”
He said his vision was around “lifestyle and wellness”.

“A lot of it is about engaging with the space and the surroundings,” he said.
He is encouraging locals to view his Hove operation online, including its @rockwaterhove Instagram account, and email their thoughts on the Poole sites to