£54m marina plan could soon be a reality

Bridlington harbour

Bridlington harbour

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A new £54m marina could be built in Bridlington in five years, it has emerged, after a bid went in for £4m funding to draw up a new design.

Plans for a Marina have been doing the rounds for decades, but now with East Riding Council and the Harbour Commissioners working together, the latest proposals have the best prospect of succeeding in years.

The plans for the marina in Bridlington

The plans for the marina in Bridlington

If all goes to plan a new Marina, which would create 200 jobs in a town with pockets of severe deprivation, could be built by 2021.

It comes as York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP included a £4m bid from the council and commissioners, to cover the costs of design work and a business case, in its Local Growth Deal submission to the Government.

The LEP has discussed the plans with Ministers and civil servants in London and the response was “encouraging”, said East Riding Council’s project manager for the Yorkshire Harbour and Marina Project Pete Ashcroft.

The £54m plan, which will see a 250 to 300-berth Marina built in a new harbour, was chosen as a cheaper alternative to the £96m Marina laid out in the original Bridlington Area Action Plan. It would include harbourside development, including a hotel, retail and cafes and restaurants.

A Free Press story from May 1989 regarding a setback in the marina project

A Free Press story from May 1989 regarding a setback in the marina project

The council has put £35m aside in a regeneration reserve and there are hopes delays over Brexit will mean funds from the EU being available for the next few years and if not the Government will lending the scheme its support.

Chris Wright, chairman of Bridlington Harbour Commissioners, said they were meeting the council next week: “Providing we can get the money I don’t see why it shouldn’t go ahead – I’d hate to see it fail after all this. We are working together and we can’t do anything more.”

It will take around 18 months to get a design and the necessary legal orders in place, with construction taking up to three years.

Mr Ashcroft said: “There have been discussions between the LEP, Ministers and civil servants in London. The bid has gone in as one of three priorities. The indications back was heartening.”

Bridlington has a population of 35,000 and some of the poorest wards in the country.

According to figures from 2015, 17.4 per cent of the working age population claimed out-of-work benefits, nearly double the English average.

Mr Ashcroft added: “The reason that the council is investing this money is because it is the place in the East Riding with the greatest socio-economic challenges.”

Contractors BAM Nuttall were appointed by the council and commissioners last year. Their scheme will see the commercial fishing fleet stay in the existing harbour and the marina go in the new harbour.

The plan has the same footprint and avoids disrupting fishermen. It also requires a less substantial form of construction for the new outer pier, reduces the need for dredging the existing harbour and shortens the construction timescale.