Harbour to stay afloat after vital £1.2m grant
Last updated at 12:24, Friday, 24 August 2012
Maryport harbour’s future is secure, thanks to a £1.2 million grant.
The cash, from Britain’s Energy Coast, is the first step in making the harbour area into a tourist destination, its bosses said.
Much of the money will be used to build a new boathouse for Maryport Inshore Rescue and mend the wall of the Senhouse dock at the marina.
The boost comes just days after Stewart Swift, harbour authority chief executive, and Richard Key, harbour master, warned of a financial crisis if compromises were not made.
They feared that the dock could revert to its former derelict state.
But the £1.2 million grant has now given them time to explore options for development and self-sufficiency, revealed harbour authority chairwoman Angela Kendall.
It is hoped that the harbour will in the future rival Whitehaven.
Mr Stewart said: “We are now where Whitehaven harbour was just 10 years ago.”
Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham said: “We have been working to get this money for a long time and it’s fantastic news for the area. Maryport harbour has the potential to be the jewel in the crown of West Cumbria’s coast and this will help make it a reality.”
As of April, the only authority contributing to the harbour was Maryport Town Council, which gives £7,500 a year.
Allerdale council and the county council pulled their funding because of cutbacks.
Mr Swift said that Maryport Developments Limited and the harbour authority should merge, but warned that the authority could not afford to take over the company’s liabilities, which include £700,000 for the wall repairs.
But, he said, the grant brought the merger closer.
Mrs Kendall said the dream was to create a new company that could develop the harbour and make it self-sustaining.
Confirmation of the funding was welcomed by the voluntary Maryport Inshore Rescue.
Mike Messenger, station officer, said: “We are delighted this money has been confirmed. I imagine we will start building the new boathouse in the very near future.”
Britain’s Energy Coast has injected £5.3 million into West Cumbria, which will include new berths and a cruise ship taxi terminal at Whitehaven marina.
l More cash for the area – Page 6
First published at 11:52, Friday, 24 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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