Porthcawl Harbourside CIC, the Community Interest Company developing Porthcawl Maritime Centre, are delighted to announce that full planning permission has been granted for the development.  The Maritime Centre, called Harbourside, will house Porthcawl Sea Cadets and The Welsh Surfing Federation as well as SeaQuest Coastal Science & Discovery Centre and a wealth of leisure and health facilities.  The project will be built on Cosy Corner, adjacent to the Marina, Porthcawl.

Michael Clarke, Chairman of Porthcawl Harbourside CIC, said ‘today was an immensely important, indeed critical, day for Porthcawl Harbourside CIC, our partners and stakeholders. This is a major milestone after four years of hard work, and our submission for full planning approval for the whole development has been fully approved. To say we are delighted is an understatement, and we are particularly grateful for the advice we have received from all sections of our Local Authority in Bridgend. Reaching this stage has been a shared journey, and we have worked closely with officers across Highways, Planning, Regeneration, Conservation and Property.  We are very pleased that some of the comments made at the Development Control meeting reflected our intention that we want the benefits of this development to be felt across the County Borough and beyond.

Finalising agreement to lease the Breakwater has been a challenging path for ourselves and our Local Council. Due to the site being a Harbour location, and in a conservation area, the range of statutory marine and other statutory consents and neighbour issues involved is significant. Commitment, flexibility and dogged determination are words that come to mind. The support, understanding and patience of our Coastal Community colleagues at Big Lottery has been vital. Fortunately, we have also had the commitment of our Council to secure what will be a fine result for Marina users, the Council and ourselves supporting new direct and indirect employment and increasing visitors to Porthcawl, and benefiting Bridgend County and the wider region.

This next, imminent stage of the Harbourside project, installation of the Boat Lift – assisting boat owners, commercial fishermen and RNLI fully illustrates our commitment to improving the area for all areas of the community.  Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the huge number of people and organisations who took the trouble to write in to support our application.’

Today’s news also signals the go ahead for further exciting partnership working between Porthcawl Harbourside CIC and operators of Porthcawl Marina. A Boat Lift and associated handling equipment will be installed, significantly enhancing the flexibility of Porthcawl Marina, as well as enhancing facilities for current and future berth holders.  A storage facility will also be available, providing a further capacity of 200 boats, with the availability of additional chandlery services.

The new facilities will enable existing boat owners to lift their boats out of the water for dockside cleaning, routine repairs and maintenance, and will also mean that commercial fishermen will be able to land their catch more economically.  Additionally, the RNLI will be able to access their rescue boat out of the water locally for maintenance, rather than having to travel further along the coast.  The £100,000 investment will complete the Coastal Communities supported project for educational and leisure facilities within Porthcawl and require an additional member of staff.

It is hoped that work on the Maritime Centre will be able to commence in early 2017.