A £2million investment in Burry Port Harbour is nearing completion, topped off with the iconic lighthouse getting a fresh lick of paint.
Carmarthenshire County Council is behind a range of improvements to maintain and restore the historic harbour which is one of the county’s most loved and well visited beauty spots.
Restoration of the Grade II listed harbour walls, undertaken under the guidance of CADW, will conclude within the next few weeks.
The council has also been working alongside The Marine Group, which operates the harbour, to improve mooring facilities. They are working closely with fishermen to bid for funding for new commercial pontoon infrastructure.
It will add to investment made over previous years which saw the council spend almost £1.5million on new pontoons, and over £300,000 in maintaining the harbour railings and bridge.
A local operator has agreed a lease for a cafe and public toilets on east side of Harbour, and the refurbishment of the old RNLI harbour office has recently started by The Marine Group (TMG) to create a harbour-side coffee house.
TMG has also invested in a state-of-the-art dredger which arrived at the harbour last autumn. Dredging is well underway and will continue until targeted depths are reached.
Boat lifting equipment and new fuelling points are also planned.
The council has introduced community safety officers to patrol the harbour assisting tourists and local people during the summer months, especially to advise around Covid regulations, as part of a tourism hotspot plan to take care of issues such as parking, litter, street cleansing, enforcement and signage.
Temporary car parking surfacing has also been laid on the east side along with new pay and display facilities ahead of a wider multi-million regeneration plan that will transform the harbour with a mix of housing, commercial and leisure space covering around 13 acres of prime development site.
Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We are proud of our continued investment in Burry Port Harbour. We are spending millions restoring and maintaining historic features that are much-loved by local people and visitors who come from far and wide to enjoy what the harbour has to offer.
“We continue to work closely alongside The Marine Group and Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council to plan and prioritise works and ongoing maintenance. We are as keen as everyone else to ensure it is well-maintained and continues to be a place people can enjoy.
“We appreciate that there has been some upheaval during these improvement works but we ask people to understand that our investment will make Burry Port Harbour an even better place for the future.”
The Executive Board will meet next week to consider marketing a large development site near to the entrance of the harbour to enable the delivery of a mixed use leisure led scheme including the potential for shops, a hotel, pub/restaurant and residential use.
The 2.8 acre parcel of brownfield land is earmarked for transformation as part of a joint venture between Carmarthenshire County Council and Welsh Government, driving investment to what is seen as a key development location.
The scheme will complement wider regeneration planned for Burry Port Harbour where, as part of the Llanelli Waterside Joint Venture, investment has already been made in infrastructure and transport to make the area more accessible and to strengthen the link between the Millennium Coastal Path and town centre.
Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council and Executive Board Member for Regeneration, said he was excited to move forward the ambitious regeneration plans the town has been waiting for.
“We have a vision to transform Burry Port Harbour, and outline planning permission is already in place for a mixed-use development. We want to further enhance and complement what is already a much-loved location,” he said.
“This site is key to our overall masterplan for the town – it will help attract more investment and will provide hundreds of jobs during the development phase and beyond.
“We are excited about the future of Burry Port and look forward to discussing this exciting scheme in detail at our next meeting of the Executive Board.”
Burry Port Harbour is situated within the 14-mile landscaped Millennium Coastal Park, with panoramic views of the Gower Peninsula and Carmarthen Bay, and is one of Carmarthenshire’s strategic regeneration areas.
The council has already invested heavily in the area – a £2million refurbishment of the historic Grade II listed harbour walls and lighthouse is nearing completion, alongside car park improvements.
The authority is working alongside The Marine Group, which operates the harbour, to improve wet and dry side facilities including the conversion of the former RNLI lifeboat station into a café and is looking for operators for catering facilities on the east side.
It supported the delivery of the new modern lifeboat station which houses two lifeboats alongside operations control room, crew room, changing rooms, office space and a training room for use by crew members and educational talks.
Near to the harbour, the council has recently built two new state-of-the-art primary schools totalling almost £13.5million providing pupils and staff unique and inspiring places to learn.
And construction is currently underway on a £4million eco-friendly home development including apartments and bungalows on land next to the existing Plas Y Mor Extra Care Scheme in the town.
Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council Leader, Emlyn Dole and Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Peter Hughes Griffiths (Image: Carmarthenshire Council)
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