Petition to save Guernsey's Fermain Beach Café signed by nearly 3,000 people as lease ends

  • ITV News reporter Marina Jenkins visits the award-winning café that is facing an uncertain future

More than 2,700 people have signed a petition to save the popular Fermain Beach Café in Guernsey.

Belmiro and Manuela de Frietas have run it for 21 years but are facing an uncertain future with their lease on the government-owned site due to expire on 31 October.

A tender process is underway which will close on Friday 17 May, with other interested parties bidding to take over the site.

Bids can include plans to create a two or three-story structure but must provide a new eatery.

Carol Culshaw is one of the islanders who has signed the petition to keep the existing Fermain Beach Café.

She says that although she understands the need for a tender process by the States of Guernsey, new owners with different plans could change the character of the area

Carol adds: "If what the States want is a huge investment in a large building, that may be financially viable for a large corporate organisation.

"It seems to me it would be a cruel disservice to those of us who know and love this bay."

The States have acknowledged community concerns but say the decision to go to tender is in line with its approach to other coastal cafés and kiosks that it leases.

The Director of Estates for Guernsey States, Mark Ogier, explains it "should not be seen as a criticism of any current tenant, it is just good commercial practice".

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