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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Harbour masterplan bid to boost town

A MULTI-million-pound masterplan to revitalise Maryport harbour and the town has been launched.

International firm DTZ, responsible for the transformation of Whitehaven harbour, has been employed to create a 10 to 20-year programme of development to help turn Maryport around.

DTZ is keen to know what townsfolk and harbour users want from the area and believes it has the potential to become a “destination” like Kirkcudbright, on the opposite side of the Solway Firth, which upgraded its harbour and has become a centre for the arts, or to be a tourist destination.

The consultants met with 60 people, including fishermen, yachtsmen, inshore rescue members and residents, on Monday and plan to hold more meetings to decide priorities.

Keeping water in the dock was seen by many as a key factor of any development in Maryport and installing harbour gates – which could cost between £2m and £8m – will be looked at.

John Adlen, of DTZ, said it was their job to put together a harbour masterplan which would be funded by the private sector and central agencies.

Ann-Marie Cowperthwaite, of urban regeneration company West Lakes Renaissance, said the groups would begin public consultation in January and the priorities for the masterplan would be drawn up by April.

Work to develop the harbour area into a tourist attraction in its own right has been going on for several years.

The Lake District Coast Aquarium has attracted thousands of people, and the Ritson Wharf housing development brought luxury living to the quayside.

This September, Maryport’s marina was reopened after a £1.7m revamp, including upgraded boat repair facilities, a new office complex for marina owners Maryport Developments, car parking and lifeboat equipment.

Last year the new Elizabeth Dock Bridge was opened.

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