Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) is currently working towards a deadline of October this year to secure the funding for the Cowes Breakwater Project. This means that work on creating a new outer harbour breakwater at Cowes (Isle of Wight) could commence as early as April next year.
Public and private investment since 2005 enabled Weymouth and Portland to successfully host two amazing weeks of Olympic sailing. It has highlighted the urgent need for Cowes to prioritise the construction of a new breakwater, creating a truly sheltered harbour and opening the door to future economic prosperity.
CHC believes that an Outer Harbour breakwater is vital to the Isle of Wight economy and to the safety and future prosperity of Cowes Harbour. The Cowes breakwater project has all necessary permissions in place to proceed and the time for constructing the breakwater has arrived. CHC needs to capture crucial infrastructure investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) for the breakwater project to proceed. This requires the Isle of Wight Council, local town councils and stakeholders to re-confirm their support for this important investment for the Island and its future.
The Cowes Breakwater Project will take approximately seven months to complete which means the construction will be in full flow next season. However, according to Stuart McIntosh, Cowes Harbourmaster, there shouldn’t be any impact on the racing.
The idea of the Cowes Breakwater Project is to create a sheltered harbour to protect both Cowes and East Cowes from the north/north-easterly winds. The plan is to construct a 400 metre breakwater just to the east of the main entrance into the River Medina, and create a new eastern channel by extending the existing Shrape breakwater by 50 metres on the eastern side of the river.
McIntosh is delighted that the project is finally appearing to take shape. “Cowes Harbour Commission are committed to the delivery, we are out to tender to obtain a contractor for the delivery of the breakwater and we hope to be in a position to award that contract in January next year.”
Commenting on the purpose of the proposed breakwater, McIntosh said: “The reason behind it is two-fold. The first is to provide a harbour for users and enable the development of the marina at East Cowes in due course. The other is to protect the local economy. The yachting economy is so important to the prosperity of Cowes and the entire Island. Therefore to ensure we continue to have the best possible facilities, in a protected harbour, we need to put this investment into place.”
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