Bridlington’s £115million marina is officially on hold – because it is not ‘commercially viable’.
The devastating news was announced today, after consultants Arup told East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Bridlington Harbour Commissioners that the project would not work in the current financial climate.
The organisations have said they will continue to work together and will turn their attention back to the idea of a smaller marina within the existing harbour.
Cllr Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “Working together, the council and Bridlington Harbour Commissioners have advanced plans for the Yorkshire Harbour and Marina Project to a stage never achieved before.
“It is with a heavy heart that the decision has had to be made to put this game-changing project on hold.
“Throughout the process, the council and the commissioners have always looked at developing a scheme that was affordable, workable and deliverable.
“Unfortunately, due to the current financial climate and the information supplied by Arup, indications are that the scheme would be unaffordable.
“However, too much progress has been made in recent years for us to sit and dwell on this disappointing news, so the council and the commissioners have decided to seize the opportunity and look at other ways in which we can work together to help regenerate this important part of the town.”
For the past two-and-a-half years, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Bridlington Harbour Commissioners have been working on a plan to build outside the harbour, but they have been told it is not financially viable.
A £3.5 million grant from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership funded design and pre-construction work, but councillors were told at a meeting this afternoon the large-scale scheme would not go ahead.
It would have cost £115million, around two-thirds of which would have been for the new outer pier constructed for leisure craft to be berthed, with £40million needed to update the existing harbour infrastructure for the fishing fleet.
But experts have said it would be a huge challenge to find the funding in the current economic climate.
Chris Wright, chairman of Bridlington Harbour Commissioners, said: “Having worked closely with the council over the past two years on the Yorkshire Harbour and Marina Project, it is disappointing that we cannot proceed with the preferred option.
“What we can do, however, is build on the positives of what have been achieved so far and continue to work in partnership for the benefit of Bridlington and its economy.
“By looking at investing in the existing harbour infrastructure, we can safeguard the town’s important fishing industry and lay the foundations for future development.”
Bridlington Harbour is the largest shellfish port in Europe and is worth more than £50 million a year to the local economy.
Now, the council and the harbour commissioners will explore options to modernise facilities for the fishing fleet and potentially create additional berths for leisure craft in an in-harbour development. The environment around the harbour will also be looked at to attract private sector investment.
Cllr Stephen Parnaby, leader of East Riding Council, added: “Regeneration is a constant process and has seen this council invest in major assets, including Bridlington Spa, Sewerby Hall and Gardens and the new East Riding Leisure Bridlington development among others.
“As I have said before, an economically vibrant Bridlington is not only important to the town and its residents but also for the wider East Riding.”
“To further demonstrate its commitment, the council plans to progress with other projects in Bridlington, including the new Gypsey Race Park, the Townscape Heritage Project to preserve buildings in the Bridlington Quay Conservation Area, improvements to the seafront north of Garrison Square and the completion of the BridITP2 works, which will improve the town’s transport infrastructure and open up areas for private development – creating jobs, boosting the economy and supporting residents and the increased number of visitors.”