BRIDLINGTON harbour will be transformed into a tidal marina in a £250,000 new scheme unveiled today.
As plans for a long-awaited Bridlington Marina could be as much as 10 years away due to the economic climate, the town’s Harbour Commissioners are forging ahead with their own scheme.
The new ‘mini-marina’ will have pontoon berths for more than 60 boats inside the current harbour – and they say it will give boat owners what they want.
It is hoped work can start in January creating a framework of new pontoon berths for 66 craft – from 20ft cabin cruisers to up to 40ft ocean going yachts.
Weather permitting, it should be ready for its first customers by next Easter, the start of the season.
The commissioners say their biggest investment in recent decades is designed to meet demand.
Chris Wright, chief executive and harbour master, said: “Pontoon berths is what – continued on Page 3
existing users, the yacht club and boat owners in general say they want.
“We already have a waiting list and we could pretty much fill it tomorrow.”
The commissioners spent the past two years seeing how a pilot 11-berth pontoon performed during winter weather and different conditions – and it passed with flying colours.
It will now made twice as long and act as the main entrance and link to three new pontoon spines supported on piles. All berths will also have water and electricity supplies.
Wooded boat cradles owned by boat users, which have dwindled down from more than 60 in the 1970s to just 25, will be removed when owners take their craft away to winter elsewhere.
The commissioners have always said they would continue to develop the harbour themselves.
According to board chairman George Traves MBE, the development can only benefit Bridlington.
Mr Traves said: “The harbour is a focal point and this will greatly improve its visual appeal and help further investment in the town.
“There is also a massive potential for further pontoon development on the north side of the harbour and for pontoon berths for commercial craft as well. The harbour has 85 businesses and employs over 400 people.
“It is unique in that all our fishermen own their own companies, all the revenue this generates stays in Bridlington.”
The commissioners also point out their plans will not cost the taxpayer a penny.
“A Trust Port has to stand on its own two feet, it does not come out of the rates,” said Mr Wright.
As far as a Bridlington Marina is concerned, the commissioners believe in the current climate it could be at least 10 years before there is any movement.
They were among successful objectors to an initial council plan for a massive 500-berth marina which it was felt would dominate the seafront and was thrown out by an independent inspector.
Since then they have spent years working with the council and have reached a mutually agreed plan for its development.
The council itself say it is still working with consultants on a business plan to show how it can be achieved and funded.
The marina scheme is heavily dependent on external private sector funding, which is currently hard to find.
However, John Lister, head of Bridlington Renaissance, said the council was continuing to bring its business plan together so it would be ready to be first in line when the opportunity arose.
“It is extremely difficult to say when that would be. The council is always aware of new funding opportunities and we want to be ready when it is there but it is extremely difficult to say when that will be.
“It could be 10 years, but it could be much sooner,” said Mr Lister.
The council is also waiting for the outcome of December’s public hearing into the town’s Area Action Plan for its long term future development of which the marina is a key part.