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Cowes harbour investment announced

Tue 9 Jul 2013

Cowes harbour investment announced

Visitors to the Isle of Wight could soon benefit from major improvements to Cowes harbour following the announcement of a major new investment from the government's Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

A total of £6 million is to be ploughed into a considerable revamp of the facility over the coming year, with the delivery of a new 400-metre stone breakwater at the entrance of the harbour a major new addition that will bring benefits all year round for visitors and locals alike.

Chief executive of Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) and Cowes harbour master captain Stuart McIntosh noted the project has been on the table for the last 50 years and it is therefore extremely good news that renovation of the facilities will finally go ahead within the next few months.

It is hoped the investment - a 50/50 joint venture by the CHC and HCA - will further bolster the Cowes economy over the coming months and years, ensuring local businesses have access to a greater number of visitors and extending the island's sailing season beyond the summer months.

Protection from high winds and tidal surge brought about by the construction of the new breakwater will also ensure shipping and ferry vessels will have access to the harbour all year round.

Colin Molton, HCA executive director for the south and south-west, said: "This investment has clear benefits for an important local project and the wider economy, by securing employment, extra investment and keeping an internationally renowned sailing venue firmly on the map.

"This is a strong signal of our commitment to the Isle of Wight."

The scheme is scheduled to get underway later this year and the HCA has forecast building of the new facilities will take approximately 12 months to complete.

It promises to provide a major boost to Cowes, generating millions of pounds in additional revenues for the local economy over the coming years and ensuring the destination remains an important harbour for the foreseeable future. ADNFCR-3083-ID-801610202-ADNFCR

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