Please see below development updates for 4 of our marinas.
Port Dinorwic Marina Update
We are in the process of programming a water injection dredging campaign of the inner dock utilising our most manoeuvrable dredger, Innovation. We are currently progressing with environmental assessment and licencing work and will look to carry out the dredge following the summer season, subject to approval.
In the meantime, we will be carrying out ongoing renovation work on the lock gates to the inner dock in order to slow leakage through the gates at low tide. This will ensure a greater depth of water in this area prior to the dredging campaign.
Following on from last year’s new walkways, we will soon be installing the new finger pontoons in the outer harbour as well as carrying out repairs to the access gate.
Aberystwyth Marina Update
We are pleased to confirm that we have programmed a full maintenance dredging campaign which is scheduled to complete by the 15th May this year. As Aberystwyth is now a busy marina, we ask for your help and support if the marina team ask you to move your boat to another area of the marina for a short time while the dredging campaign takes place.
We have reserved budgets and are currently agreeing a building contract for the proposed restaurant unit conversion works on the ground floor of Harbour House. We will update you on the work timetable as soon as possible.
Following the success of last year’s Street Food Festival, we can confirm that it will return this year in an even bigger and better format. The exact date is to be confirmed but it will be during August. We will announce more details on this and other upcoming events soon.
Watchet Marina Update
The hydraulic marina gate has now been repaired with new components installed. We will continue monitoring the gate’s performance to ensure it continues to work effectively. You will be able to see (see photo below) that there is a retained water level again during low water.
The dredging campaign has resumed and will be carried out by different vessels from our fleet over the coming months. We remain focused on getting the marina fully watered as soon as possible.
Christopher Odling-Smee will be available at 5pm on 21st February to provide an update to the community and review progress. This meeting will take place at Watchet Pheonix Centre.
We will be announcing further details on our capex programme in the coming months.
Burry Port Marina Update
We remain absolutely committed to the rehabilitation of Burry Port Marina. We will continue with the capital dredge of the harbour until we achieve the necessary depths of water for our customers and in line with the service level outlined in our agreement with the council. We stand by our original assessment that the harbour has huge potential and we are determined to realise this.
The 4 years that Burry Port harbour has been under our management, have not gone as we planned or expected. The challenge and the cost of rehabilitation has been considerably greater than we had anticipated. The delays that this has caused have put organisational strain on The Marine Group, and we are conscious that our team, and unfortunately our customers and the local community, have felt the negative effects of this.
Burry Port is currently a loss-making harbour, funding its rehabilitation from the income that it generates is not possible. We are however pleased to announce that we are now in a position to be able to allocate a capital budget in 2023 to fund the work that needs to be completed. This allows us to commit to a sustained dredging campaign that adopts a revised strategy that is outlined below.
2023 Dredging Plan
We have put the following plan in place for the coming year to ensure that we make real progress. A continuous improvement plan will be followed whereby we regularly evaluate progress and implement any necessary changes to the process to further speed up the rehabilitation. The plan, along with results of each evaluation, will be published to customers and the community.
- Bathymetric Surveys
We have contracted a third party to carry out quarterly single beam bathymetric surveys of the marina, the first of which will take place on the 27th February. We will publish this data after each survey is carried out. This data will ensure our dredging campaign is as effective as possible.
- Mechanical Dredge
We have confirmed a substantial budget for a mechanical dredging campaign as a next step in the rehabilitation of the marina. This will help to accelerate the removal of the heavier sand sediment at the front of the marina.
We are currently working to obtain the relevant licensing for this type of dredging work with NRW and the council as the responsible harbour authority. As soon as we have a time frame for these to be granted, we will publish it. In the meantime, we are obtaining quotations and confirming availability for potential contractors to carry out the work.
- Water Injection Dredging Programme
As outlined above, our water injection dredging programme has suffered setbacks. We are now in a position to carry out an effective series of campaigns to ensure we meet our target with support from the mechanical dredging element.
The timetable for the first trial phase of the WID dredge is to commence in April over the first available Spring tide set (period of higher water) utilising both of our larger dredgers, Seaka and Doonhamer. Seaka will be leaving Burry Port to carry out other work in the meantime.
The mixed methodology dredging plan will be supported by a comprehensive sluicing regime throughout this time which will help to keep the channels clear.
- Future Maintenance Campaigns
Once we have achieved our target depths, we will continue with a comprehensive maintenance dredging schedule which will include water injection dredging, sluicing and surveying to ensure that depths are maintained.
A timetable of these elements will be published when the permissions for the mechanical dredge have been confirmed. Ongoing progress will be shared with customers and the community to ensure you are kept informed of our progress.
- Pontoon Repair
We are aware of the areas of damaged pontoons and want to assure our customers and community that they will be repaired or replaced once the dredge depths have been attained.
The pontoons recently pictured on social media are not in service and we will be lifting these out of the harbour when the crane instals the new commercial pontoons. The pontoon infrastructure will be fully serviced and upgraded once we have made more progress on the dredging. We acknowledge the equipment is unsightly and needs to be addressed.
- Commercial Pontoon Installation
The new commercial pontoons will be installed when this area has been cleared further to ensure they can be installed correctly. We therefore plan to install them further into the 2023 dredge campaign when the bathymetric surveys are returning positive results for this section.
- Marina Building Renovation
The contract is currently being re-let to complete the building works on the new marina facilities building with confirmed budgets. Works will commence this summer.
Christopher Odling-Smee, company Director, will present the above programme and technical approach to the community and town hall as soon as a date can be arranged.