In 2010 the Hawk Conservancy Trust approached Plain Action about help in funding the construction of a new restaurant at its premises just outside Andover on the A303. The existing restaurant began life as a cow shed, before becoming a monkey house, and then being converted into a small restaurant seating 35 people. During the main tourist season it just wasn’t big enough to cope with the demand.
Their aim was to build a 100 seat restaurant which, outside the main tourist season, could also be used for corporate functions. Subject to planning approval and a tendering process, approval was given in early 2011 for a grant of £99,000 towards the costs, expected to be in the region of £376,000.
In August 2012 Planning Approval was gained and the work was put out to tender and subsequently awarded to Harpoint Builders,a local contractor. The project plan targeted that the restaurant would be completed by Easter 2012 in time for the tourist season. Sir George Young MP started the work on 18th September 2011 and it was completed on 20th March 2012.
During the first year of operation the Trust saw visitor numbers rise by over 18%. In addition the Trust obtained a licence to hold civil weddings, and marketed the venue for corporate functions, helping to bring vital funds to help run the premises.