La Vallette could be a beautiful place, says owner of aquarium

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LA VALLETTE could be a beautiful place for residents and tourists if it was maintained properly, users have said in response to talk of developing the area.

Marita Iverson, owner of The Aquarium at La Vallette, said plans to revitalise the area as part of the States Seafront Enhancement Programme are a much-needed step in the right direction. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 23034779)

It is one of six sites that the States wants to transform in an effort to reshape the St Peter Port seafront. A boutique hotel, art gallery, bars, cafes or unique self-catering units are among the possibilities for these areas, but Policy & Resources is keen to hear any ideas.

Owner of The Aquarium Marita Iverson said the La Vallette area needed attention, even after substantial work was done to it last year.

‘It seems that we are just forgotten about down here. There needs to be better signage for visitors and the Petit Train needs to be able to stop and let people on and off,’ she said.

‘The public toilets which serve the bathing pools, kiosk, Aquarium and underground museum are in a terrible state and in desperate need of renovation.

‘In 2017 we had over 600 volunteers come down here and clear the overgrown areas. It looked beautiful and footfall in the area went through the roof, unfortunately the maintenance has not been kept up and visitor numbers have gone down significantly.’

The state of some of the facilities at La Vallette is an embarrassment, according to one regular user, who asked not to be named.

‘To be quite honest my wife joins me here in the warmer months and she is absolutely appalled by the state of the toilets here,’ he said.

‘As I am here regularly I often meet people who come off the cruise ships who are obviously quite fascinated by our pools, but I feel quite embarrassed when they ask me where the loos are.


‘What we don’t need is it to be put into the hands of anyone who may start charging for people to come in to use the pools.

‘This is a saving grace for a lot of young parents who may not have access to transport or money to go and do things.’

One idea that has been touted for the building that houses the tourist information centre along the seafront is an art gallery.

Guernsey Chamber of Commerce director Kay Leslie said there was great potential in that idea.


‘The latest overall scheme is an important infrastructure project to ensure that sea links for both freight and passengers, the built environment and recreational space are at the heart of the future of island life,’ she said.

‘We see particular potential in the development of a world-class arts centre, led by Art for Guernsey and Chamber Council member David Ummels.

‘This aspect of any infrastructure changes would be a major positive as far as Chamber is concerned.’


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