Exmouth’s seafront bowling alley opened for business on Thursday morning, avoiding a takeover by the district council. The building is set to open in stages.

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Exmouth’s long-awaited seafront bowling alley opened for business on Thursday morning – some two weeks ahead of schedule.

In November East Devon District Council threatened to take the multi-million pound building from developer Mark Quinn if it was not completed within two months.

Mr Quinn and his team have been working all over Christmas in a bid to beat the district council’s January deadline.

The council served legal notice on Mr Quinn, of Harlequins Bowling and Leisure Ltd, because of a breach of contract conditions.

Mr Quinn said the ground floor was open for business on Thursday morning.

Bowling alley manager Isaac Robb, one of the UK’s top chefs, and his wife Grainne, who have taken on the new attraction, were serving food on Boxing Day.

The father-of-three from Belfast, who has more than 16 years’ experience in the catering industry, said: “We have opened the whole of the downstairs. I am really busy at the moment.”

In November Mr Quinn said he was confident of finishing the building within the allotted time.

He had been forced to halt work for around 18 months while legal wrangles were ironed out when structural difficulties arose early on in the development,

Mr Quinn said: “I am delighted that the building is open. Everyone has been working like mad.

“I would like to thank East Devon District Council for their help to get to this point.”

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