‘Maritime Centre’ in Porthcawl moves a step closer

A multi-million pound waterside project set for Porthcawl has made a “significant step forward” after consultants were appointed to look into the scheme’s viability.

Wider Impact Consultancy Ltd (WIC) has been tasked with carrying out an in-depth feasibility study which will be completed over the next three months.

A collective of town organisations – led by Sea Cadets chairman and Porthcawl mayor Councillor Mike Clarke along with Welsh Surfing Federation veteran Stuart Bentley – released their plans for the new £3.5m “Maritime Centre” at Cosy Corner in June.

The “Harbourside” project would see a four-storey building go up next to the new marina, with facilities ranging from a maritime museum to a “Flow Rider” standing wave for surfers.

Mike said: “It is essential that the business model is built on a sound footing, is clear about its objectives and is financially sustainable in the future.

“The Board was very impressed with WIC Ltd’s presentation and in particular their grasp of what we are seeking to achieve for Porthcawl.”

Director and lead consultant of Wider Impact Consultancy, Edwin Lewis is delighted to have been commissioned to carry out the study and said: “There can be no doubt that this is an exciting and worthwhile initiative that has the potential to make significant economic and social impacts on the Porthcawl and surrounding areas.

“We now see our role as ensuring that the project is feasible, and is likely to achieve the aims and objectives of the Project Team.

“We are looking forward to supporting the role of the Team, carrying out close scrutiny of key issues such as finance, and most importantly listening to the views and opinions of stakeholders, which will involve wider community members.”

Coun Clarke said the project, which has been worked on behind the scenes for months, will be delivered in three stages and completed in three years.

An initial £250,000 phase would see a temporary smaller building erected on Cosy Corner and a dry dock to increase the new marina’s berth numbers.

Funding and planning permission should be in place in six months’ time, Coun Clarke said.

Later phases would see the small building replaced by the main four-storey Maritime Centre, with the lower deck built in phase two and the upper floors built later in phase three.

As well as the surfing wave and museum, the finished centre would also house a range of boating and harbour services for marina users, top-floor four-star bunkhouse accommodation, a cafe bar and rooms for arts and educational space.

The building would also form a base for the Sea Cadets, the Welsh Surfing Federation and other seaside groups and schools would be involved in the development of the building’s educational facilities.

It would be operated as not-for-profit social enterprise.

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/step-forward-harbour-regeneration-project-5678532