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Western Mail Press Release 3rd November

Western Mail 3rd Nov
Wales International Coastal Centre Development
How £4m is going to be spent on Saundersfoot Harbour in a major transformation.

The aim is for Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire to lead the way as a marine centre of excellence

A popular Welsh tourist village has been awarded £4 million to transform it into an international coastal centre.

There are ambitious plans to build a new marine centre of excellence and coastal storm centre, a state-of-the-art heritage and arts centre and a coastal schooner experience at Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire.

The EU funding, which was announced on November 1, 2018, will turn the fishing harbour into a must-see destination say Saundersfoot Harbour.

Work has already been completed on a brand new national events deckwhich formed phase one of the plans. The new 4,000-seater amphitheatre was unveiled on the harbour in September 2018.

Now that funding is confirmed, Saundersfoot Harbour will press on with plans to start phase two. Some of the proposals still require planning permission, but the masterplan sets out three key developments. 

Marine Centre of Excellence and Storm Centre

The old Jones and Teague building on the end of the harbour will be used to create a new marine tourism centre for activities including sailing, paddle boarding, and coastal rowing.

It will also house a new storm centre, as well as some commercial retail units.

Ocean Square heritage and arts centre

The proposed Ocean Square centre will use the space currently occupied by the former coal office in the seafront carpark.

Part of the existing empty building will be demolished to make way for a new visitor centre, which will include a bike hub and repair centre, a new all-weather covered plaza and a number of shops.

Coastal Schooner Centre

The proposed schooner centre will provide a "schooner experience" for visitors, which will include outdoor cinema, crabbing centre, activity mast climbing and hi-ropes, as well as a number of commercial units.

Saundersfoot Harbour was originally built in 1834 as a coal exporting harbour.

Over the years, it has become a popular holiday destination and is famous for it's "Heartbreak Hill" which forms part of the Ironman Wales bike course.

Bradley Davies, commercial manager of Saundersfoot Harbour, said: "We’ve seen a big increase in footfall to the area since the completion of the earlier developments, and we look forward to bringing something completely new and different to visitors and locals alike."

The Saundersfoot Harbour Commission, which operates as a trust, runs all maritime activity at the harbour and is driving forward the Wales International Coastal Centre. The trust ploughs any profits it makes back into supporting the harbour activities.

The Wales International Coastal Centre is the final project of 11 in Wales to receive the go-ahead under a programme of tourism destination improvements across Wales.

The EU funding is being invested through the Welsh Government’s Tourism Attractor Destination programme, led by Visit Wales.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport Lord Elis-Thomas visited the the Trust Port of Saundersfoot to make the announcement.

Lord Elis-Thomas, said: "Our aim through the Tourism Attractor Destination programme is to focus efforts and investment on key projects in each region so we have a real impact on Wales’ profile in this globally competitive market, this represents a huge funding boost for the sector, which will make a real difference to the products and experiences that Wales has to offer."


About the author

The Saundersfoot Harbour Team

The Saundersfoot Harbour Team

Saundersfoot Harbour

The Harbour, 
SA69 9HE


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