A ‘Port Master Plan’ for Cowes, that aims to address harbor and marine stakeholder development issues, is being proposed by Cowes Harbor Commission (CHC) and major stakeholders following extensive consultation.
The Commission’s objective proposes the agreement of a: “Port Master Plan that identifies current and long-term growth strategies to future-proof the port’s infrastructure and services whilst complementing the wider, local and regional plans and policies.”
Due to the current situation and time pressures on the East Cowes Development, it is therefore proposed that an East Cowes Marine Plan (ECMP) is prioritized but set within over-arching primary objectives that are complementary to the overall ‘Port Master Plan’, reported CHC.
The delivery of an East Cowes Development Plan could include the establishment of a Cowes Marine Park (CMP) on the site previously known as Kingston Marine Park, with land and buildings under the ownership of the Isle of Wight Council and leased to marine industries.
In addition, the ECMP would look to progress the development of the VQEL Victoria Quay marina on the northern part of Venture Quays as per current planning permission, and the new Red Funnel ‘main’ scheme on the Seaholme Yard area of Venture Quays.
Harbor stakeholders have suggested a number of high-level strategic objectives for the proposed ECMP and Port Master Plan:
- To deliver marine elements of the ECMP and Cowes Outer Harbor Project;
- To create a world-class marine manufacturing and services hub in Cowes;
- To facilitate development of a fit-for-purpose ferry terminal in East Cowes to benefit the entire Island;
- To facilitate the development of a new marina and associated facilities on the Venture Quays site;
- To expand the established boat building and marine service skills on the Island and create highly skilled marine employment opportunities;
- To support training and apprenticeship opportunities for young people to enter the marine manufacturing industry;
- To support and facilitate the retention of commercial wharfs and deep water marine sites for the import and export of bulk commodities;
- To promote and facilitate investment into the Cowes marine sector;
- To further enhance the standing of Cowes as a world-class yachting location.