855 berths to be created

Plans for two new marinas in Poole Harbour have been revealed.

Poole Harbour Commissioners are investing almost £21million to try and keep the town at the forefront of the marine industry, after 41 port jobs and 25 per cent of harbour revenue were lost when Brittany Ferries stopped its Barfleur service this spring.

Jim Stewart, chief executive of the harbour commissioners, said: ‘We can’t stand still. We have got to ensure Poole

Harbour Commissioners remains financially viable for the future.

‘Certainly there is no intention of running down traditional port activities. This is an additional revenue stream which will help us to fulfil all the other tasks we have in the harbour.’

Planning permission is already being sought for an £800,000, 55-berth mini-marina at the unused third ro-ro berth to be up and running by next February, which Mr Stewart said ‘would enable Poole to attract a lot more vessels in time for the Olympics’.

There is also a longer term plan for a £20m, 800-berth marina at Hamworthy, beyond Poole Yacht Club, which could include a marine business park and create 120 jobs, but first there would need to be a major public consultation and an environmental impact assessment.

Richard Lacey, chairman of the harbour commissioners, said: ‘The last major investment was the early ’80s when we put in the two ro-ro berths and formed the port as we know it. Here we are looking at the next giant step forward.’