Azur: new star turn for the seafront

IT is the answer to the question St Leonards' residents have been waiting for - what is the Marina Pavilion going to be used for?

The plans for Azur have been unveiled this week, and by the end of the summer a new restaurant, bistro, 400-capacity banqueting facility, and complementary therapy clinic will be opening at the pavilion.

Azur is the brainchild of couple David and Allison McQueen-Luzar, entrepreneurs who are engaged to be married, and hope theirs' will be the first wedding ceremony held at the venue.

David, 44, has 20 years experience in the hospitality industry, having spent the last nine years working at West Ham football club as operations director.

Meanwhile Allison, 48, has been working in the health business for the last 25 years, most recently as a consultant for Watford football club, and for various sports stars including Swedish cyclist Magnus Backstedt.

Alison lived in Buckinghamshire and David in Essex, but the couple have come together to form Azur, and parent company Lightening Leisure Ltd, and will soon be setting up home together in Hastings.

The couple were looking for a project to work on together, when a colleague of David's recommended the Marina Pavilion.

"It's too nice-a-building to stay empty," Allison said.

"It's a project where we can both amalgamate our skills, while keeping them separate."

She will be opening 10 treatment rooms in the building, offering the usual non-surgical treatments, but specialising in bio-resonance, an electro-magnetic therapy to help people with allergies and sports injuries.

Because Azur will be able to accommodate business conferences and weddings, Allison will also offer her services to stressed business people and brides-to-be.

Allison said: "It's been a disappointment to so many people in the area that this has been empty for so long, but we want to come to provide services in the community, and to employ up to 25 local people."

Working with economic development company Sea Space, and hoping to form partnerships with Hastings College, nearby hotels and other local businesses, Allison and David want Azur to have a positive knock-on effect.

"I've been careful to bring in a service that enhances what there is already, so we can cross-reference each other, rather than be competitive," Allison said.

"We're trying to be as thoughtful as we can be for residents. We want to be perceived as welcoming, to anyone with any questions."

The couple can be contacted on 0845 8121066.