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PS5.5m plan for harbour could create 50 new jobs.

Byline: abby bolter Reporter abby.bolter@walesonline.co.uk

A MULTI-MILLION-POUND transformation of a seaside town's harbour has been unveiled.

Plans for the proposed PS5.5m Porthcawl Maritime Centre have been released showing a scheme which is hoped could create 50 jobs.

These up-to-date images have been released by the developers Harbourside Community Interest Company after it formally lodged a planning application with Bridgend County Borough Council.

They said the latest design was developed after private and public consultation feedback.

It is hoped the Porthcawl Maritime Centre will be built on Cosy Corner next to the Jennings Building and between the RNLI station and marina.

One of the Harbourside directors, Mike Clarke, said the new design has addressed the "sensitive planning requirements for that particular area and the planning authority has produced special guidance".

"We also held a public exhibition and fed in comments from that and we've had to make sure it fits in with the finance potentially available," he added.

It is hoped that the community-driven development will create dozens of new jobs when completed.

It will support water sports and have public toilets and showers for participants.

It also features a health and well-being centre and 17m internal pool, which Mr Clarke said was a facility which could be used for rehabilitation purposes and could also be used by mother-and-baby groups or for older people prescribed exercise by their doctor.

The building will also have a Waverider, offer a coastal science and discovery education programme and will be the Centre for Surfing Excellence - the headquarters for the National Governing Body of Surfing in Wales.

There will also be an amphitheatre outside, which will be a performance space, a display venue for local artists, conference facilities, "business pods", four-star cabins for accommodation, boat storage, Y Gali daytime cafe and evening licensed bistro and The Crow's Nest viewing gallery.

A children's play area will also be located outside.

Mr Clarke said: "We are at an advanced stage in discussions with a number of private and grant funders."

Last year, Stuart Bentley, one of the four directors who work voluntarily for the Harbourside community interest company, said: "Porthcawl has viewed itself as a bit of a tardy, run-down town and I think it's about time we raised the bar.

"This could be really beneficial, not just for Porthcawl or the Bridgend area, but for Wales."

The idea for a year-round attraction had developed from a need to build a new base for the Porthcawl Sea Cadets, which still occupy a building constructed in 1946, and a headquarters and centre of excellence for the Welsh Surfing Federation, of which architectural and design consultant Mr Bentley is the secretary.

CAPTION(S):

An artist's impression of the Porthcawl Maritime Centre

An aerial view of how the proposed Porthcawl Maritime Centre could look

The new facility would cater for all the community

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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 16, 2016
Words:478
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