A £3.2m project to repair and improve the harbour at the town of Southwold in Suffolk will provide a much-needed boost to the local economy, according to local politicians.
The harbour is located on the Blyth Estuary and the scheme was carried out by Team Van Oord partner May Gurney in partnership with NPS. It was financed by contributions from Waveney District Council, the European Fisheries Fund and the Southwold Harbour Lands Trust.
The works, which are almost complete, comprise regeneration of the harbour wall and installation of new fishing equipment. The improved facilities include new moorings, a refrigeration area and ice-making machine, storage compounds, a 55kg capacity crane to lift boxes from boats to shore, electricity hook-ups, a diesel store and a CCTV security system.
Vicky Ford, East of England MEP and Dr Therese Coffey, Suffolk Coastal MP, visited the site recently to meet harbour users, fishermen and local councillors.
Dr Coffey said: “It was excellent to see the harbour wall looking fantastic. There are now facilities in place to help our local fishermen.”
Geoffrey Van Orden, MEP for Eastern England, said the project will provide welcome support for the local fishing trade. “The renovation will provide a much- needed boost to the fishing industry and wider local economy, a sustainable harbour, and protection against the ravages of the sea. It will also improve working and safety conditions, and provide a more modern, stable structure for the operation of the RNLI lifeboat,” he said.
This is not the first time Team Van Oord has worked in the popular and fashionable seaside resort of Southwold. Previously Team Van Oord successfully completed the £6.3m Southwold Coastal Protection Scheme which comprised construction of rock and timber groynes, refurbishment of the promenade and beach nourishment. The project also included a flood embankment to defend Southwold from ‘back door’ flooding from the nearby Blyth estuary.
Click here to read the full Evening News report on the project.