Following a £5.8m investment in a state-of-the-art shipyard at Swanwick Marina on the River Hamble in 2014, its owners, Premier Marinas, has now revised its plans and will invest a further £8m in complete regeneration of the facility.
In a two-phase development, Premier will completely refurbish this large marina and include a number of innovative features which the company says will be of particular interest to its berth holders. These include a unique modern renewal of the floating marina to make accessing and using the pontoons safer and easier, a welcoming marina bridgehead building, and a dedicated berth holders’ lounge.
In addition, at the heart of the site, overlooking the water, a new food and beverage building is proposed and, close by, there are plans for an impressive Pavilion building to house boat sales and marine businesses (subject to planning approval).
In the regeneration scheme Premier will clear the eastern side of the marina to create additional boat storage ashore and dedicated berth holder parking. For the future, Premier is considering a range of marine-based options for this land.
The new floating marina will create 333 berths for yachts of 6m-40m (20ft-131ft), an overall increase of 59 on the current configuration. The pontoons will run east-west and uniquely, all berth holders will enjoy a berth measuring at least the length of their boat. This feature, coupled with fairway and pontoon specifications that exceed industry standards, will make berthing easier and safer – particularly for powerboat owners stepping directly onto their pontoon from the back of their boat.
However, one of the most innovative aspects of Premier’s plans lies at the centre section of the marina, (jetties C and D) where the berths will be set 700mm above water level (200mm above standard height) to reduce customers’ deck to pontoon ‘jump down’ when berthing their vessel.
In the new configuration, all the pontoons will be accessed via a single central bridgehead which has again been designed to make life easier by presenting a substantially lower access gradient than the current bridgeheads. During the in-water redevelopment the marina basin will be dredged.
At the top of the bridgehead berth holders will find a new undercover bridgehead building providing a customer service and information point, trolley station, bin store and secure access to the pontoons. Dedicated drop off/pick up parking for berth holders is planned in front of the building to ensure that customers can get close to the bridgehead when provisioning up.
Phase 1 of the Swanwick redevelopment starts in October this year with the renewal of the pontoons on the eastern side of the marina and the build of a 40-slot dinghy rack at A pontoon. Completion of Phase 1 is due in April 2019.
Phase 2 of the renewal will take place in the winter of 2019/20 and will see the outstanding pontoons in the plan renewed and the construction of the new bridgehead building. The construction of the new Pavilion building is also scheduled for the winter of 2019/20 and the new food and beverage building will be completed in 2021. All the new pontoons will be equipped with an improved supply of 32amp sockets and better WiFi access.
Premier Marinas’ CEO, Pete Bradshaw, commented: “Swanwick Marina was constructed in the late 1960s/early 70s when boats tended to be smaller and narrower. The current pontoons do not meet modern industry standards – or the quality expected by our berth holders. Alongside that, the water depth in some areas of the marina is becoming challenging for deeper keeled vessels.
“For these reasons,” he added, “we recognise that we need to invest further in Swanwick to secure its future success and to add value for our customers – with better food and beverage provision, more lifestyle facilities and safer, easier access to pontoons. Premier’s vision for thoughtful marina design will greatly improve our customers’ experience and safety. Our plans for Swanwick will set a new standard for marina development.”
In respect of another major development by Premier Marinas at the Noss-on-Dart marina at Dartmouth, the company is hoping to secure planning permission to go ahead on this multimillion project this month.