Jobs in Weymouth, United Kingdom
The Sea, a Harbour and a Beach
Weymouth first developed in the 12th and 13th centuries as a seaport on the southwest side of Weymouth Harbour. In the early years, it competed with Melcombe Regis, another port a few miles north, but the towns were united by an Act of Parliament in 1571 to form the double borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis. Thereafter, the centre of commercial activity was based in Melcombe Regis, uses of the harbour and beach development were based in the original Weymouth, and the united borough was popularly known as Weymouth.
Tourism has been the largest industry for decades. It got its start at the end of the 18th century when the Duke of Gloucester – brother of King George III – built a grand residence in Weymouth and the King passed holidays there on a number of occasions between 1789 and 1810. Weymouth’s esplanade was developed during the Georgian and Regency periods, and the architecture of that time has been preserved, even though the structures have now been converted into apartments, shops, hotels and guesthouses. The esplanade forms a long continuous arc around Weymouth Bay and is dotted with monuments and memorials recalling famous people and events. Since the 18th century the Weymouth beaches have been linked to the main town centre in Melcombe Regis by successive bridges over the narrowest part of the harbour. Weymouth is very low-lying and sea walls are needed in some parts to prevent flooding.
In 1974 the borough of Weymouth and Portland was formed through the merger of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis with the Isle of Portland. The waters of the Weymouth and Portland bay are ideal for sailing, and many regattas are held there. The main sailing events of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were based at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, which had been built recently on Osprey Quay and offered state-of-the-art facilities without the need to construct a new venue. Also, the region planned to develop a new 600-berth marina and extend the Quay with more on-site facilities.
Weymouth’s wide and shallow sandy beach is ideal for beach sports and has been used as the venue for various beach sport events, including beach motocross, the international handball championships, and the beach volleyball classic. Over two hundred festivals and events are held there each year, and the international kite festival in May and the annual carnival in mid-August both attract tens of thousands of visitors. Weymouth Bay is also a venue for water-sports. The reliable wind is favourable for wind and kite-surfing and the sheltered waters in Portland Harbour are used for angling, diving to shipwrecks, snorkelling, canoeing, jet skiing, water skiing, and swimming.
The main venue for live performance is the Pavilion Theatre, built in 1960 and owned by the Borough Council until 2013. During the run-up to the 2012 Olympics, an ambitious plan was put forward for conversion of the theatre and surrounding area into a large new multi-use Pavilion Complex, but the plan was not funded and instead the theatre was leased to Weymouth Pavilion CIC, a not-for-profit set up by a local businessman to manage it.
The business community in Weymouth is not large, but it is dedicated to developing opportunities created by the 2012 Olympics and Weymouth’s position as a gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast. The fashion company ‘New Look’ has its global headquarters and regional distribution centre in Weymouth. In 2007 plans were approved to develop the New Look site to include new headquarters, retail warehouses and industrial units, a hotel, fire station, and a medical centre with ambulance station.
In 2013, when the company took occupancy of its new office building, a hotel and restaurant had already opened, and a new Sainsbury’s with petrol station and restaurant was nearing completion. Development of the New Look site was the first Weymouth Gateway project, and more are expected to follow. Also in 2013 local businesses voted in favour of creating the Weymouth Business Improvement District (BID) to improve services such as bus schedules, parking metres and trash collection, and promote the town through its website – We Are Weymouth.
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