Marine Centre of Excellence offers a unique trading location and proximity to the beach and coast set in the UK’s only Coastal National Park
The second phase of four linked developments forming ‘The Wales International Coastal Centre’; The Marine Centre of Excellence offers a unique trading location and proximity to the beach and coast set in the UK’s only Coastal National Park. Saundersfoot Harbour hopes to attract high quality businesses that will enhance the existing tourism, leisure, and community offers.
The new facility will include:
- Restaurant and café areas (300m²)
- Activity/watersports facility (72m²)
- Engineering workshop (160m² at 4m height)
- Chandlery/ Commercial unit (88m²)
- Marine /Engineering servicing/brokerage (248m²)
With an abundance of Blue Flag beaches, year-round tourist attractions, heritage sites, and 186 miles of Coastal Path; Pembrokeshire attracts around 5 million visitors a year with a gross visitor spend of almost £600million. Pembrokeshire’s increasing reputation as a high quality, all-year-round destination may be due, in part, to the mild weather, Blue Flag beaches, historic castles and monuments and stunning scenery. But, it’s also so easy to get to from anywhere along the M4, most areas of England, Wales and, of course Southern Ireland due to the two, twice daily, RO-RO Ferry services to the North and South of the county.
The Wales International Coastal Centre’s first phase commenced in January 2015 when the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones visited the village to announce that a project to redevelop the marine facilities had been awarded. He said: “The scheme will see the harbour, built 185 years ago, overhauled to improve access but also to ensure its long-term viability and ability to compete on an international stage16”. The new slipway, access pontoons, boat racks and launching equipment allow launching at all states of the tide and support Visit Wales’ intent to increase the use of the coastal waters for recreational use.
The recently completed 1800m² National Events Deck overlooks the harbour and can accommodate events of up to 4,000 people.
The Wales International Coastal Centre projects are focussed on attracting new and different types of users and visitors into the local economy and, when complete, should create more than 90 new jobs. Subsequent phases, all set within the historic harbour include; the Ocean Square Heritage and Arts Centre and the stunning Coastal Schooner Experience on the events deck. Detailed plans are available on their website (www.saundersfootharbour.co.uk) These developments will offer further new business opportunities with almost 2,500m² of additional visitor/commercial space. Elements of the scheme have been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.