£1.5 million boost to improve west Cumbrian harbours
Last updated at 13:23, Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Two of West Cumbria’s harbour areas will benefit from a huge cash injection.
It comes as part of a £5.3 million investment in business and leisure by Britain’s Energy Coast and its Nuclear Management Partners.
Whitehaven Marina will receive £365,000 towards its £1.1m expansion, while Maryport Harbour has been awarded £1.2m.
Rt Hon Brian Wilson, chairman of Britain’s Energy Coast, said: “Our investment in Whitehaven Marina and Maryport Harbour shows our commitment to enhancing coastal assets.”
At Whitehaven, the work would see the creation of 140 additional berths close to The Beacon and a new cruise ship taxi terminal for tender vessels.
At Maryport, it will pay for “much-needed repairs” to the Senhouse Dock walls, the construction of a new inshore rescue boathouse and solar energy panels on harbour buildings. It would also pay for the extension of the marina’s car park and a new cafe and play area.
Whitehaven Marina is already the biggest marina on the north west coast of England, with 285 fully serviced marina berths and quay wall berth areas for larger boats.
But Celia MacKenzie, chief executive of the Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, hopes that the money will help make the area even more accessible.
Whitehaven Marina itself is too shallow to allow cruise ships into the harbour and it costs £6,000 to create a temporary landing terminal for tender vessels.
But a dedicated taxi terminal and security check point on the Lime Tongue Quay area would help make it more “more attractive” to cruise vessels in the future.
She said: “We would really like it in as soon as possible because it gives us more time to market it”.
But she stressed that ultimately this would depend on whether the Copeland Community agreed to make up the £370,000 funding shortfall – half of which would come as a loan and half as a grant.
“Unless we get that funding we can’t go ahead with it: we don’t have enough resources,” she said.
Pauline Gorley, of Maryport Developments which owns the marina, said: “Maryport developments is delighted that the harbour authority has secured this funding. It’s positive for Maryport. The works on the Senhouse Docks are very much needed to make the harbour viable.”
The BEC board has also agreed to pay £2.2m toward an office development at the Westlakes Science & Technology Park in Whitehaven.
It will also invest £400,000 in doubling the capacity of Blencathra Business Centre, Threlkeld, near Keswick and £1.1m has been given towards the £4.5m cost of revamping Rosehill Theatre, near Whitehaven.
It is hoped that the investment from Britain’s Energy Coast will either match or help to unlock more than £4.5m of funding from other sources.
First published at 11:24, Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk