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Breakwater goes ahead

It's a historic day for Cowes as funding is finally secured for the Cowes Breakwater Project.
You may already have read or heard today the excellent news confirming that the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is to back the Cowes Breakwater Project, and I am therefore delighted to be able to share the HCA's press release with all our stakeholders and harbour users.


Today's very welcome confirmation of HCA match funding, to equal CHC's own commitment of 3 million, will now enable us to place the construction contract for the delivery of the Outer Harbour breakwater.


Throughout the eight years of intensive partnership work, which has resulted in the Cowes Breakwater Project being fully consented, ready to deliver, and now with funding secured, the main driver for CHC has always been economy and employment. This project will not only protect existing jobs but create new employment opportunities for Cowes and the rest of the Island. The Breakwater will also help enormously to raise the profile and fulfil the potential of Cowes as a world-class centre of yachting.


Best regards,

blue sig

Captain Stuart McIntosh,

Cowes Harbour Master


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Cowes Harbour Commission is always happy to gain feedback on its services and on the issues it is tackling on behalf of all harbour users and stakeholders. If you would like to talk to the Harbour Master, Capt. Stuart McIntosh or to Rod Hodgson, the Deputy Harbour Master, please feel free to call into the Harbour Office on Town Quay, phone and make an appointment on: 01983 293952, or email: [email protected]. 
CHC also owns and operates the following commercial services: Shepards Wharf Marina, Kingston Marine Services & Boatyard, Cowes Harbour Moorings, and Cowes Harbour Fuels. 

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Above: CHC's number one priority, to create a true sheltered harbour for Cowes, is about to become a reality.
Cowes Harbour breakwater backed by 3m government investment

Plans to enhance Cowes' reputation as an international sailing destination have been backed by an agreement by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to invest more than 3m in major infrastructure improvements.

The HCA is to invest 3.16m in the Cowes Harbour Commission's proposals to install a new 400m-long stone breakwater barrier near the main harbour entrance, to offer marine craft and the local area extra protection from high winds and tidal pressures.


The Cowes Harbour Breakwater project aims to bring a significant economic boost to the area by supporting the Island's marine and tourism economy and generating millions of pounds from extra visitors and increased trade for local cafes, hotels and businesses. It aims to provide the harbour with an extended sailing season to allow events to be hosted beyond the summer months and offer extra protection for commercial vessels and ferry services throughout the year.


The HCA's investment represents an additional 3m contribution to the project, with 3m coming from the Commission's own funds. It will see construction work start in earnest later this year.


Colin Molton, HCA Executive Director for the South and South West, said: "This investment has clear benefits for an important local project and the wider economy, by securing employment, extra investment and keeping an internationally renowned sailing venue firmly on the map.


"This is a strong signal of our commitment to the Isle of Wight. This is a complex project and has required the long-standing commitment of all partners to get to this present stage. We are keen to work with partners to ensure that work is completed on time and that local people start to feel and see benefits of the investment."


Chief Executive of Cowes Harbour Commission and Cowes Harbour Master, Captain Stuart McIntosh, said: "Constructing the breakwater starts a process to unlock the full potential of Cowes as a true sheltered harbour. It starts a new cycle of investment in Cowes and East Cowes that will directly support our existing marine sector, harbour users and local businesses, but importantly also assists Cowes to win more international business and events. This is good for the Isle of Wight and the Solent region. Cowes enjoys an illustrious history and this new partnership will bring over 50 years of planning into reality, stimulating further investment that will undoubtedly strengthen our future."


Councillor Shirley Smart, Isle of Wight Council cabinet member for tourism and economy, said: "Inward investment in the Island is to be welcomed. We hope the breakwater project will become a catalyst for the much-needed economic growth of other areas, including sites in East Cowes over which the HCA has control or influence."


The agreement to invest follows extensive consultation with local residents and stakeholders, which found strong support for the project.


The project is expected to take around 12 months to complete.

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