Cowes Harbor Commission’s Annual Public Meeting, held recently, saw very good attendance at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes with over 70 people turning out to listen to the Harbor Master, Capt. Stuart McIntosh’s presentation of CHC’s Annual Report and key development projects taking place in Cowes Harbor during 2015.
Capt. Stuart McIntosh delivered a short presentation of the Annual Report and highlighted the following areas:
• CHC is well on the way to delivering the strategic objectives as set out in the 2010-2015 Strategic Framework Document;
• Key achievements for 2014 to 2015 included completion of phase 1 of the new Cowes Breakwater construction, major repair projects at Kingston Wharf and also for the Trinity Landing pontoons, and investment at Shepards Wharf Marina with a new crane and refurbished events center;
• CHC invested almost £4.7 million into stakeholder dividend projects during 2014, with a significant proportion funded from returns from CHC’s marine service operations which are reinvested back into the port.
The second half of the presentation focused on the major harbor projects currently in progress, namely the Cowes Breakwater Project, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) East Cowes development, the Solent Gateways project, and CHC’s strategic policy review and plans for 2015-2020.
Cowes Breakwater Project
The Harbor Master emphasized that this is a partnership project with funding partner the HCA, contractors Boskalis Westminster, project managers Atkins, and hydrodynamic consultant engineers ABPmer.
Whilst the key objective has always been to provide Cowes with a sheltered harbor, the main driver for CHC is for the new Cowes Breakwater to act as a catalyst for inward investment to support economic growth and job creation, as is already being seen in East Cowes with the HCA proposed new marina and shoreside development.
Stuart McIntosh gave an update on the proposed construction program for 2015, due to start in June.
Proposed Victoria Marina East Cowes development
In March of this year a development agreement was signed, subject to conditions, between the HCA and their preferred partners, Camper & Nicholsons and Westcourt.
This scheme will bring a potential £50 million inward investment into East Cowes and the harbor, as a direct result of the protection provided by the new Cowes Breakwater.
Importantly, the new marina and East Cowes development will fund delivery of the Shrape extension and Eastern Channel dredge.