EU funding for flagship Porthcawl project

More than £2m in EU funding has been secured to support the development of the flagship Porthcawl Maritime Centre.

Alongside £2.1m in EU funding, the project is also backed by the Big Lottery, the Welsh Government and private and third sector investment.

Porthcawl Maritime Centre will feature a coastal science and discovery centre to be known as SeaQuest, a Wave Rider surfing attraction, a restaurant and new headquarters for the Welsh Surfing Federation.

Other elements of the multi-use building will include a new training unit for the Sea Cadets, a base for the coastguard services, a well-being centre, a learning café/bistro, business units for charities, events spaces, a crèche and marina services.

The development has the potential to support the creation of 55 jobs as well as additional roles during the construction phase, which is set to begin in mid-2017.

The centre forms part of the Welsh Government’s wider Tourism Attractor Destination programme which aims to create 11 must-visit destinations across Wales.

Announcing the EU funding today (21 February 2017), minister for skills and science Julie James said: “The coast is the county’s unique selling point and the reason why most visitors come to the area. But to attract more visitors to the area we need to provide more exemplary facilities and services for residents and visitors. 

“Porthcawl Maritime Centre will fulfil this need by providing an exciting and innovative ‘year round’ family centred attraction right on the waterfront.”

Mike Clarke, chairman of Porthcawl Harbourside Community Interest Company, said: “It is impossible to fully describe how excited and proud the Porthcawl Harbourside CIC team are to receive the go-ahead for this project.

“This huge vote of confidence in our team and in the community of Porthcawl is tremendous. We believe this is possibly the biggest community-conceived and led tourism project in the UK, and we are now able to tender for the construction and get started.”

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