In the spirit of celebrating International Women’s Day and women in leadership, Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust (TCCT) is delighted to announce the appointment of Cath Cooke as General Manager for the new Occombe Development. Cath joins the TCCT team this week to head up the final stages of Occombe’s regeneration and lead the running of Occombe once it opens this summer.
Cath brings with her a wealth of experience having served 20 years in attraction management. She has worked within many top, national attractions including the Tate Modern and the V&A Museum of Art and Design. In the last 10 years, Cath has been working for the National Trust as a General Manager in the South West. This role, in particular has been significant in ensuring that both local residents and the region’s visitors can enjoy the natural beauty the South West has to offer.
“I am thrilled to be joining the TCCT team and to be leading this exciting new venture. The regenerated Occombe will play such a fundamental role in Torbay. Not only will Occombe provide a great new destination for our local community to enjoy all year around, but also will support the great conservation work that TCCT undertakes in caring for our stunning green spaces and places. This role therefore, especially appealed to me because I am so passionate about conservation and the natural environment we live in. Occombe will be a means to help support its special care”.
“I can’t wait to start recruiting new people to join our team and am looking forward to welcoming visitors in the summer”.
Incorporated in the new Occombe will be a mix of indoor and outdoor play and activities alongside a much larger farm shop; providing a year-round destination.
Building work has already progressed since the start of the new year. TCCT has taken advantage of this latest national lockdown enabling the farm and café to remain closed, limiting disruption to farm visitors and customers to the Café. It is hoped that the majority of noisy building work will be completed in time for the Café to reopen in May.
Presently an extension to the old farm shop is being added to create a 450 sq m area floor space, three times the current size. The farm shop extension will also provide Occombe Farm Café with a new, much larger terrace above. Work has also started to remove one of the barns which will be replaced with a new, much larger barn, to accommodate the children’s indoor play.
It is anticipated that the new Occombe enterprise will create up to 60 full and part time new jobs. Recruitment for roles will begin soon, with opening of the entire facility planned for summer 2021.
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